I rarely purchase anything GW makes on release let alone *shock horror* preorder stuff. Long story short, I did just that for the Clan Pestilens Battletome since I am currently (and slowly) collecting a Clan Septik faction for Age of Sigmar.
As a disclaimer, this is the first Age of Sigmar publication I own a physical copy of. I did buy the original big “fluffbook” through the app which I’ve since regretted as print is far better as I’m concerned for this format of publication. If any art or fluff is repeated from previous publications, I am unaware of such.
I also will not be publishing or taking photos of any of the rules!
So; new background, a pair of new Battleplans, seven (already existing) Warscrolls and four new Warscroll Battalions. As far as I’m aware, most of the art and fluff is new (some of the colour schemes are taken from the old Skaven Uniforms and Heraldries book).
The book covers the main three original Clans Pestilens (Morbidus, Feesik and Septik) as well as mentions of lesser and splinter clans. For some reason, each of the Clans superstitiously follow a rule of three with their number – so if one Congregation is banished for heresy, political reason or whatever then another two must be as well even if they were “innocent” of any real crime in Skaven society. Quite funny if you ask me!
Speaking of Clan Septik (the one I collect), they have gained a new symbol (yay!) but changed colour to purple?! All is not lost for my green and beige-clad rats however as the book directly mentions the large number of Clans that have split off from Septik and taken their own colours. Such relief!
They do look pretty neat in purple though *temptation growing*.
Still looking at alternative colour schemes, yellow looks pretty good too! They have runes painted on their cowl, which is a neat touch in going to use in the future.
I can’t say I’ve read enough of the book to give a good opinion on the background, so I’ll skip to over viewing the Warscroll Battalions new to this book.
There are four in total which together make up the above organisational chart of the various Clan Pestilens factions.
The first one is the Congregation of Filth, consisting of two or more units of Plague Monks as well as a Plague Furnace. This formation improves the charge range of the Monks (20+ size units) and allows the chance to ignore Wounds as well. Both abilities require the Monks being near the Furnace if hadn’t guessed already!
The second one is the Foulrain Congregation consisting of a Plague Priest directing three Plagueclaws (catapults). This formation allows the artillery to increase chances to wound and grants to hit re-rolls when concentrating fire on one target. The Priest is used as the lynchpin for one of these abilities but not both.
The third is the Plaguesmog Congregation, pairing 2+ units of Plague Censer Bearers with again a Plague Furnace. Harder to hit with shooting and upgrades the Censer Bearer’s Poisonous Fumes abilities with a new and better version.
The final Warscroll Battalion is the big one – the Virulent Procession. This consists of 2+ Congregations of Filth as well as one mighty Verminlord Corruptor. The lowly Monks can choose to take mortal wounds to heal the Verminlord as well as enemies in or near terrain taking damage one per turn.
The only real criticism of this release is that the Plague Monks kit is still horribly outdated by modern Skaven standards! The only formation I would be interested in collecting is the Foulrain one as it doesn’t use Monks at all! True, I am converting my own but the process of making a measly minimum unit size of 5 is long and a lot of work, let alone the 40+ I would need to individually convert to ideally make use of the basic Congregation of Filth.
All in all though, the book looks great and its helped me to get cracking on with some more diseased rats in the meantime!