The Lost 300 are one of Sigmar’s Stormcast Eternal chambers. Their souls plucked from the world-that-was as they died together in their final battle, they are the last remaining 300 warriors of a militaristic race, reforged as Sigmar’s elite.

But a complication during the forging process meant each warrior still believes they’re fighting that very same final battle from their mortal past. This delusion is further compounded as Sigmar cannot control or direct their deployment – which is why they are ‘lost’ to him. Instead, they magically appear on the battlefield when the forces of good face annihilation and are resigned to death; the combined psychic emanations of a force resolutely facing death, resonating deeply within the soul-spirits of The Lost 300, summoning them to war. In this way, they are doomed to be endlessly reforged to die in glorious final confrontations and battles across the realms.

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Background: The Spa’taan

In the world-that-was, the Spa’taan were a militaristic people. Warlike, yet noble, their social system and constitution configured entirely to maximize military proficiency at all costs, completely focused on military training and excellence. Taught from birth that to die in battle was the greatest glory a warrior could earn, coupled with their harsh upbringing, unparalleled martial training and constant warfare, the Spa’taan warriors earnt a fearsome reputation throughout the known world. Where weaker races would recoil, they alone stood against the evil and tyranny of the world, often against insurmountable odds.

And it was this that caught the God-King Sigmar’s eye during the creation of the realms. Though the entire Spa’taan culture was lost to the sands of time with the destruction of the world-that-was, the God-King was able to save the bravest and mightiest of these great heroes. But at a terrible price.

The forging of The Lost 300

Knowing they would die to a man, 300 of Spa’taan’s best warriors marched with their King toward the Hot Gates – an infamous pass and bottleneck in the world-that-was, which would have allowed the forces of Chaos unfettered access to the allied kingdoms of Man, Elf and Dwarf. The legions that faced them were titanic in scale, yet the Spa’taan knew they must intercept and delay the Chaos army, to allow time for the bickering alliance to assemble and ready their defences. Resigned to death, this brave act saw the God-King Sigmar whisk away their souls as they fell on the field of battle, to be reforged as a regiment of his almighty Stormcast Eternals.

Yet all did not go to plan.

Though the reforging was successful to a point, such was their forlorn commitment to dying in that final battle, The Lost 300, as they have come to be known, are perpetually stuck in that moment in their mind’s eye. They re-live that final battle, again and again, overlaid against their current reality. Where we see trees and lush green meadows, they see the dry, arid battlescape of the Hot Gates. Where the enemy is Greenskins, Ogors, or the Undead, they see only the forces of Chaos. Where we hear the singing of birds and the rustle of leaves in the wind, they hear only the war drums and trumpets of that fateful day. In this bizarre re-enactment of that final battle, to The Lost 300 even their allies take on the roles of other characters they’d recognise from their past life; the Spa’taan troops may respond to orders from a Seraphon Oldblood by addressing him with a name and title of one of their lieutenants. Or they might refer to an allied band of Fyreslayers as their scouts, assigning them a unit name and battle honours they’ve never heard of.

Forlorn hope

Yet the biggest calamity to befall their reforging was the manner in which they are summoned to battle and travel the realms.

Sigmar has no control over them. Hence, they are ‘lost.’

They are drawn to realms where good people have lost all hope. When there is nothing more to believe in. When the righteous and the virtuous know their time is at an end. Never is this more prominent than on the losing side of the field of battle.

But it must go further than that.

All hope must be lost, and they must be at peace with it. They must be resigned to their fate, without fear, but with a grim determination to fulfill their duty and wreak havoc and bloodshed upon their enemies. Their hearts must be strong, and their resolve stronger still. When enough warriors have reached this state, and are facing annihilation, the psychic emanations coming from such a united host cross the realms and inadvertently summon The Lost 300, in a blinding flash of azure light.

And there they fight. And there they die. Together. Doomed to repeat this endless cycle of glorious final battles until there are no more battles to fight.

Modelling and painting

Standard Stormcast Eternals will be converted to have Scibor Spartan helmets and large round Spartan shields. Some will have Puppets War bare/hairy heads. They’ll all wield tall spears made from 1.5mm brass rod with Stormcast swords as spear tips. They’ll be painted in gold armour and red loincloths in a nod to the film, 300.

UPDATE ONE: Aid uncalled for

I played fantasy until eighth edition and had a pretty big Pirate Ogre army. But when they reset the universe and replaced Warhammer Fantasy with Age of Sigmar, I didn’t pick it up. I sold my fantasy models and focused on 40k instead. For ages, compulsive gamer and Age of Sigmar champion-fanatic, Tinracer, kept telling me how good it was and tried to get me involved but I didn’t understand that world anymore. Two years-ish, and hundreds of beautiful releases from Games Workshop later, I have a much better understanding of what Age of Sigmar is all about. I sort of see it as He-Man, meets ThunderCats, meets Marvel’s Thor… a world where fantasy and low-level sci-fi overlap, and you can explain anything weird by saying: “because it’s magic!!” (I’m looking at you High Elf fishmen riding floating armoured-eels and cosmic space turtles!!).

Now they’ve fleshed out the world, it ‘makes sense’ to me again. I like the idea of realm gates and how they suddenly give you a reason and explanation of why one force could be fighting another.

For me, narrative is so important. I mainly do this hobby for the painting, finding it relaxing and therapeutic. Then on the fairly rare occasions I get to game, I want to make sure each one is a ‘quality’ game – I insist all our models are fully painted (and even help my buddies get their stuff done), and make sure we have nicely painted scenery and a gaming mat. We always have a strong narrative, with lots of hype and build-up in the days and weeks before the game. Playing this way gives us all a much richer experience, and still leaves room for the more competitive players to flex their muscles.

More conversations with Tinracer, and I suddenly found myself committed to dabbling in Age of Sigmar skirmish. I’m told it will help ease me in as I’ll only need a few models. And it will allow me to develop their character as we follow their heroic deeds – right up my street! Rolling with my theme, Tinracer kindly sent me some spare models to help flesh out my force. Which would have been fine, had I been in to receive the delivery. As it happens, I had to rock up to the collection depot and claim to be Leonidas himself…

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UPDATE TWO: This looks important… but I don’t know why

You know that tat you see in shops on holiday and you wonder to yourself: “Who on earth buys this stuff?”… well it’s lunatics like me. I saw this (while drunk) and knew I had to have it. I don’t know why yet, but it feels important. Perhaps for a cool piece of themed scenery? A giant statue? A helm of a titan? Or one of the God’s? The topping for a Spartan themed realmgate? Only time will tell…

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