Bats, elbows and goofy monsters.

When you see a really nice new army you've been waiting for a decade but the design studio decides to mess some body parts and you got mad, like, really mad...

Bats, elbows and goofy monsters.
Me dubbing in front of a big bad Archregent.

Flesh Eater Courts. What a bunch of crazy cannibals and such a nice release they got, right? Well, let me tell you: It was the biggest hype I've felt in a lot of time, but also a downer. So let me explain what passed through my mind, what I'm going to do with them and why.

The Beginning: Royal Beastflayers.

Flesh Eaters had (and still have) one of the worst basic unit kits in the game. A 20 year old kit with mold lines that could frighten an army of hobbyists. Awful stuff, really. I've built 3 and painted a couple (BB conversions) and I hated every moment of that.

I mean, look at this (those are real 'Eavy Metal Studio pictures from the box art):

There's no way I'm painting 40 of those stupid looking models. But as I always said to myself "the moment they release a new crypt ghouls kit I'll be damned & broke forever".

Last year GW released the Royal Beastflayers for Warcry. I painted them in a week (I got them before they were released. How? I will take that secret to the grave). I love them. Four of those models have been my favourites since I saw them, and building and painting the warband was the most exciting project in 2023 by far. Even got lucky enough to play with them and win a game the next weekend.

I can deal with the Offal Hounds, but I'm not really a fan, as I prefer the monkeys in the Monsta-Killaz kit, for example. I painted them like albino baboons anyway and got on with my life. But the Beastflayer Baron is one of the nicest models I've painted (and I'm planning on converting and painting a second one).

But that wasn't all: The most intriguing thing about that kit was the presence of stronger, medium-sized ghouls.: The Gore-Squires.

They were not characters, got a better profile than regular Crypt Ghouls and weren't tiny as the trackers. Definitely taller and better armored, I assumed we'd have a release in the future with some kind of elite warriors like them. I was so wrong...

The Trackers were nice (better than the 2024 kits and the old Underworlds Grymwatch). They are better proportioned, far more scary and still have the "long pubic hair hiding everything" while the new ones have cloth or chainmail.

The second coming: Flesh Eater Courts Army Set (2024).

During the World Championships (November 2023) we had a glimpse of the next release, the army set. We were shocked by the quality of the models, but when they finally sold us the boxes and the Battletome there was no new kit for the cheap regular ghouls. We could use Cryptguard with non-helmeted heads and no polearms or swords, but that meant every 20-40 models unit of Crypt Ghouls would be really expensive. I took advantage of some second-hand deals for that (too many people bought those sets if you ask me), but the army really needs to get rid of that ugly kit and I don't think GW is going to bat an eye on that matter that anytime soon.

If you're a 3d sculptor or know someone that's selling nice models like the ones I've been talking about, please leave a comment!

As I said, the Battletome confirmed no new Crypt Ghouls, no mid-sized elite Ghouls like the Gore-Squires, and got more pictures showing the cavalry AKA the Morbheg Knights. And oh God, I didn't like those at all...

The problem with the new models.

TL;DR version: Elbows and wings.

I can understand why they chose to release ghouls mounted on bats: We already have half-bat monsters, half-bat lycantropes and half-bat vampires; we also have big bats and little bats, even dragon-bat-vampires (that one is ludicrous, to be honest). So they come up with the bat-rider thing. But instead of a mount with OK-ish wings (even vestigial ragged ones like the Nightshriekers), they gave us that. I that's the kind of detail you can't unsee.

So, when I realized how the designers saw this collection and how thet used bony elbows plus the U-turn in the bat wings sculpting, the whole plan started to crumble.

Those trendy spikey bits were bone spurs protruding from the elbows (where regular ulna is called olecranon, by the way) and may work on some models, like Ushoran and the Varghulf Courtier (a little too long on this one), but I don't understand why they decided to do that with the Nighshriekers.

What's missing?

As I said before we already have nice bat wings on models. I'll rank 3 options, but there's more if know where to look for:

Number 3: Crypt Flayers.

Those are not very good wings, but at least 2 of the 3 pairs in the kit do the work and look great once they are painted (and that kit is old).

Number 2: The Gorewarden.

Having changed the vampire physical canon to another one with 3 pairs of limbs, we could agree that the Gorewarden wings aren't too bad.

Number 1: Fell Bats.

My favourite. Got 9 of those and I'll be using them as Morbheg Knights "counts as" for the time being. Look at those beauties (and their little cousins from Cursed City).

So, this was a long post to say "I don't like Nightshriekers" so I'll keep looking for alternatives. I already have some wild boar riders and the Mournfangs, but i'll start playing with the bats as soon as I finish the Baron conversion and the Corpsemare Stampede (now with rats!).

See you soon!