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Warhammer rival Warmachine reveals faction of cyber-dragons

The upcoming Shadowflame Shard Warmachine faction blends eldritch dragonspawn with the cybernetic powers of the machine goddess Cyriss.

Model from the Warhammer rival Warmachine - the Shadowflame Shard Hyrdix heavy warbeast, a three-headed biomechanical monster

The next starter army set for long-standing Warhammer rival, Warmachine, will be the Shadowflame Shard Khymeara, Wargamer can exclusively reveal. The army box will be available from December 2023 for $199.99, and will be the first opportunity for players to get this army of “flesh-crafted dragonkin… perfected by the power of the goddess of machines”.

If you’re not familiar with Warmachine, it’s a long-running miniature wargame focused on powerful Warcasters and Warlocks leading bands of mechanical Warjacks or primal Warbeasts. All the rules you need to play are free to download in the Warmachine app. Here’s a battle report by YouTuber Steam and Sorcery to give you a feel for the game:

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The Shadowflame Shard starter box contains enough models for a 50 point game of Warmachine, with 22 3D printed miniatures, plus magnetisable weapon options. Privateer Press spokesperson Mike Ryan says that in the game, the faction has: “an emphasis on stealth, quick strikes, agility, and mobility. It leans into stealth assassin themes and tropes, but has sturdier elements to help anchor your force”.

He continues: “The army focuses on melee combat predominantly, with ranged attacks often in a supporting role. There is a high frequency of movement options outside of normal movement, adding to the unpredictability and nimbleness of your force. The army also boasts a high amount of synergy and special abilities that offer support to other elements, creating layers of depth and tough decisions during list building.”

Here are all the models in the box:

  • Shyss, the Flawless Dark (warlock)
  • Vypex (heavy warbeast)
  • Hydrix (heavy warbeast)
  • Quickfang Stalkers (5-model unit)
  • Quickfang Wind Strikers (5-model unit)
  • Talon Death Dealers (3-model unit)
  • Wyrmspine Shadowmancers (3-model unit)
  • Quickfang Master (x2) (command attachment)
  • Shadowmancer Scion (solo)

Warmachine players (or lapsed players) may wonder how this faction fits into the lore. The Dragonspawn are eldritch beings spawned from the corrupting influence that dragons have on the landscape. Cyriss, meanwhile, is both a stellar constellation and the goddess of machines: her devotees sought to bring about a ‘convergence’, in which planetary ley lines mirror her cosmic form. So how have they come together?

Of all the dragons, only the dragon Everblight was able to control its spawn, forming a Legion in its name. Two of its generals, the twins Saeryn and Rhyas, have finally been able to escape from its control and strike out on their own. It seems they’ve tapped into the power of Cyriss to assist them in this endeavour.

“For precise details on how they managed such a feat and how they were able to amass an army in secret, their story; “Emergence” is currently unfolding for subscribers on the Warmachine App”, says Ryan.

The world of Warmachine has advanced continually along with the game, with a more focused plot and cast than you’ll find spread across Warhammer 40k Codexes and rulebooks. The world has changed, and the most recent edition of the game relegates older model lines to legacy status. Painful for long-time collectors, but a fairly fresh slate for new players.

The Shard also look like they’d make excellent DnD miniatures for a campaign against a force of corrupt Dragonborn, Lizardfolk, or Yuan Ti, if (like us) you’re always looking for an excuse to paint miniatures.