Come check out Age of Sigmar Dominion!
Greetings and welcome to a special product review of the new and upcoming Age of Sigmar Dominion boxed set for the 3rd edition of Age of Sigmar! Thanks to Games Workshop for providing this for free to review. Still, as always, I aim to be honest, impartial and constructively critical.
I’ve also done a video version of the review on YouTube which you can check out here:
My AoS Backstory
For those unaware, I have been playing Age of Sigmar since its launch many years ago. I even played a lot of Warhammer Fantasy 7th and 8th edition. While I haven’t played much AoS recently, for obvious reasons, I still have a fair idea of how the game is currently and still own several armies. I’ve also played at every year of Warhammer World’s competitive tournaments for AoS too, back when they could host them. I’m not super familiar with the current meta, outside the dominance of shooting, but I still have a solid head on AoS. I even have a page dedicated to it on the blog!
The Dominion Box
The Dominion box itself is huge, which should come as no surprise considering its contents. These are: 58 miniatures in total, an exclusive Age of Sigmar Core Book, warscroll cards for each unit and points as well as a narrative campaign book for the miniatures. It may not sound like a lot, but the miniatures themselves pack so much into the box considering their sizes and numbers. You also get a very clear instructions booklet, detailing how to build all the miniatures as well as having a 1:1 scale for base sizes.
Miniature-wise, I’m a huge fan. The Dominion box has 2 very different takes: your organised and elite Stormcast Eternals with the ramshackle and sneaky Orruk Kruleboyz. Split individually, that is 21 for the Stormcast and 37 for the Orruks.
The newly redesigned Stormcast Eternals look much better, imposing yet still stoic. Their Spartan appearance is a great improvement. They go together easily and are just as quick to paint while still looking good. Even their more elite miniatures look better with the more toned down “bling” of trinkets and robes, having just enough to mark them out as senior figures in the army without being over the top like it was with the Sacrosant Chamber models.
I’ve also started painting up some of these new Stormcast models as a small force for the new edition. As you can see, the scheme looks amazing but it’s really simple and fast (for me haha). I’ve followed the Cult of Paint’s guide with their Power of Pre-Shading video. Basically Blood Angels red contrast airbrushed over metallic silver and then pin-washed with black oil paint. The army is going to be done with simple highlights but as you can see, the new Stormcast look amazing with even such a simple scheme!
As for the Kruleboyz I love the miniatures, however, they just look incredibly complex to paint due to all their details. This isn’t a huge negative and I do like how it contrasts with the simplicity of the Stormcast miniatures. The new Kruleboyz stuff still goes together easily enough, so there’s no issue on the building front and I do love how much character they have been able to add to each model. Personally, they just have too many details for me to paint quickly and I can see a lot of newer players going with the Stormcast models just for being easier to paint alone.
Overall, the miniatures are truly amazing. Games Workshop have done more magic again with these. Despite all being push-fit, I had no issue building these models with glue unlike previous iterations. You even get some options for alternate builds too. These are mainly on the Stormcast side but the fact that you have the choice to build these push-fit models differently while still looking like a cohesive separate model is impressive work.
Within the Dominion box you get all the rules needed for both factions. All their rules are found on their warscroll cards with each army having their own warscroll card for points. I love the warscroll cards for Age of Sigmar so this is a plus for me. The Stormcast have the ability to deepstrike during the game and potentially explode when killed whereas the Kruleboyz can do mortal wounds (damage that ignores armour saves) instead if they roll a 6 to hit thanks to their sneaky poisons. The Stormcast also have better armour saves whereas the Kruleboyz have almost no armour but makeup for that in numbers.
Points wise, the Stormcast clock in at 1,360 points whereas the Kruleboyz are 1,070. Even with the numbers advantage, the Orruks still fall short of the Stormcast sadly. Notably, the Stormcast models also have the option of assembling their battleline unit as a single unit of 10 models or 2 units of 5 models, making them much better towards starting an army as from the Dominion box you effectively get minimum 1 general and 2 battleline units. On the other hand, the Kruleboyz only have a single unit of 10 battleline troops which results in a more difficult start for a new player.
Sadly the included narrative booklet contains no battleplans or scenarios, leaving those to be found within the core book instead. The booklet does explain the lore behind the factions and units but it feels like a missed opportunity for me as Games Workshop could have shown off some small skirmish battles leading up to a big clash with both sides.
For all the warscroll cards in the box, here are all of them now.
There’s a lot to cover here and I’ll to go over what I feel is important. For the rules, I won’t be doing a deep dive but I’ll go over what has changed. The core book is a massive tome of 362 pages. The contents page lays out what is within the book. The first few pages cover Age of Sigmar in ways to play in general as well as a simplistic guide for building and painting miniatures.
The narrative is a huge part of the book, taking up about 220 pages! It may seem excessive but I love how the lore of Age of Sigmar and the realms has evolved and deepened. The book covers everything from how the timeline started to how it has progressed. You get lots of in-depth narrative content with beautiful artwork. This all helps to really make the Age of Sigmar universe feel like a realised place with people and races fighting for an actual reason. Realms and cities are given life and the new maps are great for helping realise how deep each realm actually is. The new realm maps are a great improvement and feel like the ones which we used to get in Warhammer Fantasy.
Each faction also gets its own dedicated page (or more) and artwork explaining why they are fighting in the Age of Sigmar. We also get a look at stuff which normally isn’t shown on the tabletop like the humans from each realm and how cities operate within the Age of Sigmar universe. The advancing timeline is focussed on with a spotlight on how Age of Sigmar is currently in the “era of the beast” due to the awakening and release of the Destruction god Kragnos.
The remaining 115 pages pretty much cover all the rules needed to play Age of Sigmar. The biggest shakeup has been the clarification of rules with clearer keywords and numberings. This is a big boon for competitive players and people looking for a clear rules set, although new players may get turned off by how formal everything is.
I do like the improved clarity but my only issue is how explained or expanded points to a rules section are left to the side in a slightly highlighted box. This is oddly easy to miss and I thought these boxes were only just examples to rules until I realised they were actually expanded points to accompany the rules passages they are next to. It just feels like these could have been included with each rule instead of being left to the side.
For the actual rules needed to play the game, this only encompasses about 40 pages which is not that many pages. Although, it is funny to think considering Age of Sigmar originally started with only 4 pages of rules. I do like how a lot of things have been expanded on and clarified, such as with priests, and monsters and heroes have more abilities which they can use to enhance your games.
Command points and abilities have changed. You now get more command points per turn and more abilities that can be used, but command points are lost at the end of each game turn if unspent. However you can save command points to use command abilities during your opponent’s turn, giving you more tools to react with. Also with this are the effective removal of warscroll battalions from competitive play. These special formations gave your army unique and often broken rules, now they are replaced with more balanced standardised battalions everyone can use. This is a very good change for balance and the health of the game.
My biggest disappointment with the rules, however, is the lack of in-depth terrain rules. One of the best things about Warhammer 40,000 9th edition were the new terrain rules which helped block more line of sight with better terrain keywords. Instead, still only certain blocks of trees block line of sight. With the buff to shooting armies for a stand and shoot command ability during the charge phase and a fall-back command ability during the enemy movement phase, it feels like Games Workshop have only made the shooting meta worse. Especially with boards changing to 44” x 60”. Of course, this could be handled with sharp point hikes for shooting units but it feels like a poor band aid to what could have been an awesome fix.
I do like the smaller board and change to a more elite-focussed army construction. A big change is only certain units can be increased in size depending on their starting minimum unit number and the battle size of the game. It kills the spamming of certain big deathstar units or obnoxious spam builds. The change to coherency also means the days of seeing units of 40 models spread out in a thin line are basically gone too. Missions have new objectives you can score during the game depending on certain conditions which make games even more interactive and fluid. Modifiers of hitting and wounding are also capped to +1 or -1 making it much better overall for the game’s health.
For the rest of the competitive rules, such as points and general grand alliance abilities, these would be covered in the next General’s Handbook. Feels a little incomplete but I like the General’s Handbook. You will also be getting more missions and matched played rules in that book, as you only get 3 missions and basic matched play rules in the core book. This core book still covers everything you do need to play though, you’ll only need to pay more if you want points and more competitive rules for tournaments and events.
Also I’m so happy that the priority roll for each turn has stayed. It is one of the best things for Age of Sigmar, helping to keep the game fluid and every changing. The mechanic is iconic for Age of Sigmar and helps really make it feel different from other games like Warhammer 40,000.
The Age of Sigmar Dominion box is pretty damn cool. You get a lot of content from miniatures to an exclusive core book. I wouldn’t call this a true starter set as, firstly, this box is a limited release and new players will struggle to find some semblance of format without checking the core book for how to play missions. As I said, a big missed opportunity with the included narrative book for some simple missions. Yet, if you don’t mind a bit of loose structure, this box is still a really good way to get into the new edition with either starting army.
- 58 miniatures for 2 fairly good starting armies to get to grips with the new edition
- Amazingly detailed push-fit miniatures that go together like magic
- Exclusive core book with limited edition artwork
- Very clear and formatted rules
- The choice between the fairly minimalistic Stormcast Eternals or the very detailed Orruk Kruleboyz
- Despite being push-fit, has alternate building options within kits
- The included narrative book only has narrative content and no starter scenarios to play around with
- Brand new players may find gaming a little frustrating as they’ll have to read through the core book first if wanting to play with a friend using the Dominion box armies
- Points-wise, the Stormcast have quite the advantage over the Kruleboyz
- No included dice or measuring equipment
- No CRITS!
In summary, the Age of Sigmar Dominion box is a good way to get started with the new edition of Age of Sigmar but not the best. Remember, this is a limited product and won’t be around forever. Not only that, no starting scenarios or dice and measuring tape mean if you’re totally brand new to wargaming, you’ll struggle to actually play with anything in the box unless you make external purchases. Despite this, if you’re slightly familiar with Age of Sigmar and don’t mind doing a little reading, the Dominion box is a pretty good way to get into the game. You can either buy it with a friend or partake in the tradition of swapping one half for another with a person who also bought the box (e.g., swapping your Orruk Kruleboyz for more Stormcast Eternals from another Dominion box). Building is easy, whether choosing to push-fit or use glue and both armies paint quite well (although the Stormcast are MUCH easier to paint for me).
So would I recommend the Age of Sigmar Dominion box? If you want to get into the 3rd edition for Age of Sigmar, then yes! I was planning to buy this myself until I found out I was being given a review copy for free. One major issue will be price. I have no idea what that is currently. I’m expecting it to be £125 like Warhammer 40,000 Indomitus was but we can only wait and see. £125 is already a lot so I’ll be sad if Dominion costs more than that. If you’re a brand new player, just remember to buy some dice, a tape measure and a pair of model clipers, with all that you’ll be good to go!
If you want to get the Age of Sigmar Dominion box, you can do so from a date soon on the Games Workshop website or via my affiliate link to Element Games which will net you a minimum 15% discount (20% during pre-order week) while helping to support my content, all at no additional cost to you. And I hope you do get a box if you can as I expect demand to be crazy high.
So now we come to the end of this product review for the Age of Sigmar Dominion box. I hope you enjoyed my take on some Age of Sigmar content. If you’re new, please feel free to check out my Warhammer Underworlds content, as it is a great game from the Age of Sigmar universe. The maps of the realms even show where Shadespire and the Beastgrave are! Either way, I hope this review was informative and fun. As for myself, I’m going to challenge myself and try to paint up a quick army of the Stormcast Eternals for some painting from the Dominion box in my metallic red scheme.
So until next time, stay safe in the rampaging era of the beast and always remember: even if a game has no crits, you can always make your own with the power of belief and specially custom-made crit dice!