This might be the shortest review I have done for an Age of Sigmar book yet, for reasons that will become very apparent.
This weekend, Games Workshop released not one but two books for Age of Sigmar, a Battletome for the Ironjawz and this one.
Destruction has more in common with the Grand Alliance: Death book than Order or Chaos. It is noticeably smaller than the two big tomes (112 pages) and comes in at the £10 price point.
To break from tradition, I will do the summary of this book now, rather than at the end of the review: For £10, you get all the (current) Destruction Warscrolls in printed format. And that is it. There are not even any Battalion Warscrolls in this one (you had at least one in Death), and there is just a smidgen of extra background which likely won’t be anything close to necessary given another book release or two. More so than any of the others, you really are just paying £10 for Warscrolls in printed form.
As it is just a tenner, that is not a negative. Just don’t go expecting anything more than that and you will not be disappointed.
Destruction is constructed in the same way as every other Grand Alliance book before it – divided into factions, each gets a page or two write-up which bascially covers what the faction does and who you can expect to see in it, then the Warscrolls for the faction follow.
It really is that simple.
What might be of more interest is what those factions are, and how the Destruction Grand Alliance has been divided.
Greenskinz: These are your simple Orcs-That-Were, your ‘standard’ Orcs. They are the typical Fantasy Battle tribe, padded out with boyz, with Boarboyz and Chariots added for flavouring, and the whole lot led by Warbosses and Shamans.
Ironjawz: The new boys on the block who treat the old Black Orcs (now Ardboyz) in the same way normal Orcs treat Goblins. This section just repeats the Warscrolls found in Battletome: Ironjawz. But they are ded ‘ard, as an Orruk would say.
Bonesplitterz: The Savage Orcs, but now they are very much their own thing rather than an additional unit for your Orc force (though they can still be used that way, of course). As a different representation of Orruks in the Mortal Realms, I think these guys work well alongside the Ironjawz and, in fact, it is the Greenskinz that come off looking a bit generic. But then, I guess that is the point of them…
Gitmob Grots: The ‘regular’ Goblins as they appear in the Mortal Realms. That said, they still include Snotlings, Pump Wagons, Wolf Riders, Chariots, Spear Chukkas, Doom Divers and Rock Lobbers, so there is still much fun to be had in this faction.
Moonclan Grots: Night Goblins – so as well as the Grots themselves, expect a lot of Squig action and Fanatics.
Spiderfang Grots: Forest Goblins. These guys have already appeared in the Realmgate Wars campaign (and end up being quite a factor in the storyline of Godbeasts), and I’ll be starting a little force of them soon enough. Start out with a couple of decent mobs of Spider Riders, add a boss on a bigger spider and then pad out with an Arachnarok or two – a perfectly serviceable force in Age of Sigmar.
Aleguzzler Gargants: Only a single Warscroll in this faction, but I have loved these guys ever since Age of Sigmar came out. An entire force of drunken giants staggering across the battlefield? Sign me up!
Troggoths: The old Trolls. It is difficult to envision these guys coming together in anything that resembles a structured tribe, and the Troggoths may be relegated to supporting other factions with just a unit or two, much as they did in Fantasy Battle. Still, if you want to go all-Troggoth, there is now nothing stopping you…
Gutbusters: The old Ogres, and everyone’s favourite to win Best Sportsman at official events. Or maybe not. Most of your ‘standard’ Ogres (Ogors) end up here, such as the Ironguts, Leadbelchers and Ironblasters, but they also add Gorgers and Grots (the old Gnoblars).
Beastclaw Riders: These are Ogors who live in the tundra or up mountains, and they have a strong hunting theme. The Mournfang Cavalry will form the core of this faction (ouch!), supported by Stonehorns and Thundertusks, led by Hunters and Sabretusks. Yhetees come along for the ride.
Firebellies: These guys have become their own faction, though a supporting one much in the same way as Monsters of Chaos or Tzeentch Arcanites are right now – you are supposed to add them to other Destruction factions. One point of interest here: Firebellies now worship Gorkamorka in the incarnation of the Sun-eater…
Maneaters: Another single Warscroll faction, these are mercenary Ogors who have left their tribes and adopted the strange practices of other races. I think they work very well as a small force in Age of Sigmar, either going pure Maneater or being hired on by one of your other forces (and not necessarily a Destruction force either…).
Overall, the factionalisation of the different Destruction forces, where before you only really had two armies, is a good thing. Instead of having a single unit of weirdos in an Orc and Goblin tribe, you are now encouraged to have a full force (it does not have to be huge in Age of Sigmar, remember) of, say, Bonesplitterz or Spiderfang Grots. This enhances the characterisation of the factions and, thus, the growing background behind Age of Sigmar.
To reiterate the earlier summary though – you really are just paying £10 for printed versions of the Warscrolls. This book does not have any real depth beyond that, and certainly nothing that won’t be covered elsewhere as other titles explore the Mortal Realms. For £10, I do not consider that a bad thing, more a ‘it is what it is’ thing.