Slaine: Kiss My Axe! Starter Set Review

Nestled in classic colour Slaine stories from the progs of yesteryear…
The Slaine: Kiss My Axe! Starter Set has arrived, read on for our review!

For the purpose of this article let’s lump humanity into two broad categorise: Those who have waited most of their life for a decent Lord Weird Slough Feg model, and those who do not understand the previous grouping of words. I am strongly in the first group and hope to get the rest of you onside. Let’s look at Slaine: Kiss My Axe! The new miniature game from Warlord Games.

2000AD is an amazing comic full of larger than life characters and all that exciting comic-y goodness that nerds love so much. Many of the stories and characters have existed for 40+ years, Slaine is one of those. For readers unfamiliar with the world of Slaine, think an ancient Celtic Hulk who battles to keep his magical pre-historical home safe from all manner of hideous creatures and foes dredged from mythology…with some mind-smashingly good art and stories to boot!

Add to that mix the talents at Warlord games, and fans of miniature games (and Slaine in specific) are in for a treat! This is an excellent small scale skirmish system, which I can say with complete sincerity, having played the other two games with an analogous rule set. Strontium Dog and Judge Dredd both 2000AD titles and both share this system and both reviewed by myself, in pre-history somewhere on this very Blog…Anyway…

A nice assortment of figures for the ‘good guys’. Slaine and his companions Ukko and Nest.

This starter box comes with everything you will need to fight epic battles in the lands of Tir-Nan-Og: two factions, some scenery, the rulebook, a starter pamphlet, cards and all the markers, dice and tokens that you will need to begin cleaving skulls and slashing limbs.

Honestly, the images on the box didn’t excite me much, but once I had opened the box I quickly changed my opinion. Gentle waves of nostalgia accompanied my perusal of the Slaine figures, which are spot on. The heroes consist of Slaine, Warped Slaine, Ukko the Dwarf and Nest, his long time adventure partner. The enemies are the twisted and rotting magic practitioners; the Drunes. Their forces include Slough Throt (the leader), three Skull Swords (surely the original art influenced the ‘Chaos Warrior’ we know and love today…), and a Weirdstone with Sour Magic Practitioner.

A Drune raiding party led by the cunning Slough Throt

The supplied scenery is fine, although it will require a bit of work to make it table ready. I’m focusing on the miniatures, so the Weirdstone will be the only scenic element, having enough in my ‘historical’ selection already. This piece is fun and easy and a great place to start. Just basic painting of the stone and the sacrificial bones placed around it, add blood to taste.

The sour magic is drawn from the earth by sacrifice and the mumbled prayers of the Drune sorcerer

The Drunes are great figures based on fantastic art. Put some old school metal on your turntable and watch the paint fly onto these guys. The original art was in black and white and I have a very strong colour scheme that my childhood brain produced long ago. I will paint them the way they have always been in my mind.

Slaine and his adventure party are not as exciting but no less well sculpted. Again, just great fun to throw paint onto 2D heroes of yesteryear, now rendered in beautiful 3D. Excited to see how the rules for Warp Spasms work as I paint the Warped Slaine figure!The models from the boxed set were painted over a weekend and that should have been an end to it…if not for the Lord Weird Slough Feg…

Slaine experiences a warp spasm and slaughters through a surprised Drune warband

Thankfully, Warlord Games understand about those two broad groupings of humanity and also needed to see a Lord Weird Slough Feg miniature. Several booster boxes are available, allowing you to expand on your Drune Warband and Earth Tribe Warband. There are also heroes for both factions and another faction: the Fomorians. Lots of cool stuff there to get excited about and projects for many months to come. Regardless, in one of the aforementioned boxes dwells the Lord Weird Slough Feg!

More Slaine boxes!?! I didn’t think it too many!

Based on how fast and fun it was to paint the starter box I am eager to get stuck into expanding my forces. Interestingly, both my children are very excited…which is a bit strange, but totally acceptable. The five year old boy thinks Celtic Hulk battles will be amazing and the ten year old girl has stolen all the female models, because they are many and varied and strong. This unexpected development should net me more Slaine hobby time, at the very least!

I would be remiss if we didn’t take a bit of time to look thru the rulebook, which is well organised and easy to understand. But who cares about that when it just looks so good! So much mind-meltingly good art from some of the best 2000AD artists graces the pages, and the cards of this game. Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry and Massimo Bellardinelli to name just a few. If nothing else, this may be the most beautiful fantasy-celtic miniature game experience available today.

Finally! The man, the mystery, the Lord Weird Slough Feg!

This game hacks the head off my expectations and displays it aloft, dripping gore and screaming in excitement. You can quote me on that! If you like fantasy, comics, high adventure, heavy metal art, killing and slashing in a historical setting, slight mythos flavour, painting good miniatures or just something pretty to look at; Slaine is the game for you.

-Uncle Mike