So, on Thursday, I flipped through the new Skaven fluff book, and found it wanting. Now that I’ve had the chance to read the whole thing, I’m considerably more positive about it.
My biggest complaint was the number of “filler” clans: clans that were, basically, one of the four great clans, but weren’t. It’s not quite as bad as I initially thought: Pestilens has 3, yes, as does Skyre… but Moulder’s only got 2 and Eshin’s only got 1. There are 2 clans that are aligned with Grey Seers as well.
That puts Thrall Clans at 11 and non-Thrall Clans at 7. (I’m not counting the one-off clans that back of the book: they fit 10 kind of neat clans onto the last page, two of which are Thralls.) Not quite as bad as my initial flip-through indicated.
The art’s solid. It’s what you’d expect from this sort of book, but no two rats look alike. Each spread, for example, has a Warlord: and all of them look different, in very cool ways.
The fluff for some of the clans is interesting, some rather dull. For every Clan Scruten (a Clan kept secret by the Grey Seers to use in case of uprising), there’s a Clan Volkn (they, uh, like volcanoes?).
There’s a great deal of Giant Pox Rat art in the book: four pieces. Two of them are in the style of the book, but there are cover-quality pieces at the beginning and the end that are amazing. This book really makes me want 1) for Pox Rats to be worth taking and 2) for GW to make a Pox Rat model (besides Nurglitch’s).
I’d mentioned Clan Skurvy last time. They’re what really made me turn around on the book. Their fluff is neat enough, I guess, and they’ve got a color scheme that’d be striking on the table (think lots of Iyanden Darksun). But their Warlord (“Sealord”) art is brilliant.
What’s that on his shoulder? Is that some sort of bizarre rat-parrot hybrid? A Par-rat?
You’re damn right it is!
Little details like that are all over this book. There’s a lot more variety in here than meets the eye. And I would buy the heck out of a Skrapp Warlord model.
If you’re a Skaven nut like I am: this is probably worth it. If you think verminous pirates should have equally verminous parrots, you’re set. If you’re running Skaven because they’re supposed to be a strong army: you can probably take a pass.