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Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

Following on from Danny and Phil’s excellent chat about the new Slaves to Darkness Battletome, we thought it would be great to give you an option for a beginners army based on the new Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness.

Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness

This new boxed set priced at £85 through Games Workshop comes with 17 models in total to give you an (almost) complete beginners army. I say almost, the total points in this set amounts to 680 points.

Included in the box you have:

  • 1x Chaos Lord (115 points)
  • 10x Chaos Warriors (220 points)
  • 5x Chaos Knights (230 points)
  • 1x Gorebeast Chariot (115 points)

But we want a full 1,000 point army that we can start playing with, so to add to the above I’d possibly look at buying a Chaos Sorcerer Lord, a Darkoath Warqueen and a set of Darkoath Savagers.

What will it all cost?

  • Battletome: Slaves to Darkness £32.50
  • Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness £85
  • Darkoath Warqueen £21
  • Darkoath Savagers £35

That’s total of £173.50 at Games Workshop prices for everything you need to play at 1,000 points with Slaves to Darkness.

You can of course get these cheaper through your local retailers. Element Games in the UK offer between 15-25% off on these prices. Why not use our affiliate link below to start your army today?

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The List

Army Faction: Slaves to Darkness
Subfaction: Host of the Everchosen

LEADERS
Chaos Lord (115)
General
– Mark of Nurgle
– Reaperblade and Daemonbound Steel
– Command Trait: Death Dealer
– Artefact: Hellfire Sword (Reaperblade)
Chaos Sorcerer Lord (120)
– Mark of Nurgle
– Lore of the Damned: Daemonic Speed
Darkoath Warqueen (100)

BATTLELINE
10x Chaos Warriors (220)
– Mark of Nurgle
– Murderous Weapons
– Retinue
5x Chaos Knights (230)
– Mark of Nurgle
– Cursed Flail
– Ensorcelled Banner: The Eroding Icon
10x Darkoath Savagers (100)

OTHER
1x Gorebeast Chariot (115)
– Mark of Khorne
– Lashing Whip & Chaos War-Flail

TOTAL POINTS: 1000/1000

This army is tough! and it has fast elements which can also pin units in place while you bring your Chaos Warriors and Darkoath Savagers to bear. We’ve gone for Host of the Everchosen as our subfaction, this will allow us to bring back slain models on 5+ instead of 6+ with our rally ability. This only applies to the Chaos Warriors and Chaos Knights, but these two units with the Mark of Nurgle are already going to be blighters to shift anyway, this will just make it even harder for our oppposition!

How it could play

Chaos Lord

Our general for this particular list. He’s tough and hits like a hammer. Giving him the Mark of Nurgle means the enemy have to subtract 1 from their wound rolls that target him when using melee weapons. It also gives him the ability to use the Command Ability: Bestow Contagion. This will allow our other Nurgle Marked units (Chaos Warriors and Knights) a chance to cause D3 mortal wounds to enemy units within 3″ on a 3+.

We’ve got Death Dealer as our Command Trait, and this will allow our General to fight for a second time in the fight phase once per battle. Admittedly it’s with the Strike-last effect, but even so, well worth having.

With Chaos Lords you’re also allowed to choose a retinue which you can pass wounds off to on a 3+ (the reasons for this shown in the Chaos Warriors section), for this I’ve chosen the Chaos Warriors, as really he should be sticking to them like glue throughout the game. The other benefit from being retinue is they can fight immediately after our Chaos Lord if they haven’t fought yet. Essentially giving you two fight activations for the price of one!

As an artefact, I’ve gone for Hellfire Sword, which will allow our Reaperblade to cause two mortal wounds for each hit roll of 6.

Giving him the Reaperblade and Daemonbound Steel does mean that the damage output is slightly better than that of the Daemonbound Flail when you also take into account the mortal wounds caused by Hellfire Sword:

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Reaperblade222222
Daemonbound Steel111110
TOTAL333332
Daemonbound War-Flail222222
Average Damage after Saves
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Chaos Sorcerer Lord

This lovely fellow is a good buff to your forces. He’s a single cast and single unbind wizard which isn’t anything to write home about, but what he does provide is his spell Daemonic Power. With a casting value of 6 and a range of 18″ it should be fairly easy to cast each turn, and when you do you’ll be able to give ANY of your other units in this list +1 to hit and +1 to wound for their melee attacks. That’s nothing to be sniffed at!

As well as this he can give a 6+ ward to one of your other units in this list until the next hero phase. Hopefully you’re starting to see the tankiness of those Chaos Warriors now with their Mark of Nurgle (-1 to wound them) and a 5+ Ward Save against mortals and 6+ Ward against everything else.

Darkoath Warqueen

I absolutely love this model, which is mainly why I’ve chosen it (never discount rule of cool!). Like the Chaos Lord, this unit can allow the Darkoath Savagers to fight immediately after herself (as long as they haven’t already fought), another twofer!

She has an ability where if issuing the inspiring presence command while inside the enemy territory she can give it up to 2 Darkoath or Cultist units. We only have one for this list, but perhaps consider buying one of those awesome Warcry warbands when you look to expand to 2k?

Chaos Warriors

The first of our three battleline units. Keep these near your Chaos Lord so that they can benefit from the Retinue rule and fight immediately after the Chaos Lord in the fight phase.

With a 3+ save, a 5+ ward against mortals and a 6+ ward against everything else using the Chaos Sorcerer Lords Oracular Visions, AND the ability to have slain models return from the rally command on 5+, this unit is going to take A LOT of punishment before it goes away! In fact they would need an average of 72 damage from zero rend weapons to be allocated to them before saves, for the enemy to have a chance of destroying them.

By getting the Chaos Sorcerer Lord to cast Daemonic Power on them as well you’ll soon see their average damage output after saves is not to be ignored:

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Murderous Weapons1414121075
Murderous Weapons (Enemy Territory)*21211814117
*Chaos Warriors gain +1 attack while wholly within enemy territory
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Darkoath Savagers

Another unit I absolutely love. These guys have an added benefit of causing mortal wounds on hit rolls of 6 when in combat. This is the perfect unit to try and take objectives with, because if you manage to claim one previously held by the enemy then this unit will get a 5+ ward save until the end of the game. They won’t stand up to much punishment though, so if you’re going to commit them make sure you can win!

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Darkoath Weapons874411
Average Damage Output after Saves

Chaos Knights

Another tanky unit. They also benefit from the 5+ ward save against mortal wounds. We’re also giving them Mark of Nurgle (who is Mark anyway?) so the enemy is at -1 on their to wound rolls.

These guys are quick as well, we’ve given our Chaos Sorcerer Lord the spell Daemonic Speed. This will allow to roll 3D6 for their charge rolls when within 18″.

We’ve also chosen to give these chaps The Eroding Icon Ensorcelled Banner, this will worsen the rend of melee weapons used against them by 1, making them even harder to kill!

You’ll want these guys quickly claiming objectives and tying up units you want to hold in place ready for your Chaos Warriors to pummel.

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Cursed Land (Charging)888664
Cursed Lane*443321
Cursed Flail*322110
Trampling Hooves*322110
TOTAL*1087541
Average Damage Output
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Gorebeast Chariot

Another flanker unit for our army. We’ve given this the Mark of Khorne which allows us to add 1 to the attacks of its melee weapons when it charges.

Don’t forget that at the end of the combat phase it can make a normal move even if still within 3″ of the enemy. If it does so, it can cross across models with wound characteristics of 4 or less as though it can fly. If you do so, pick a unit that this model passed over and roll a dice, on 3+ that enemy suffers D6 mortal wounds! You’ll probably do an average of 3 or 4 mortal wounds… And it only costs 115 points! Bargain!

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Lashing Whip100000
Chaos War-Flail322110
Crushing Fists222200
TOTAL644310
Average Damage Output

Where to go next?

Everything in this book looks cool and you certainly couldn’t go wrong by possibly buying a second Vanguard box! If not, have a look at the Varanguard and Chosen, both heavy hitting units if that’s what you like. There’s also a certain bloke named Archaon…

Lore Introduction – The Path to Glory (Slaves to Darkness)

Whispers in the dark

Pinpointing precisely when the first Slave to Darkness was born is difficult to achieve. Since the dawn of time within the mortal realms the Chaos Gods’ tendrils would reach through and warp reality, whispering dark thoughts to anyone who would listen. Khorne would urge Generals to strive for evermore glory, Tzeentch would encourage further study into the arcane, Slaanesh would speak of pleasure to aristocrats and artists alike, and father Nurgle would call out to those who lived off the land. It is when the first of these individuals gave in to the dark voices which lurked within and pledged themselves to these mysterious forces that the first Slave to Darkness came into the Mortal Realms.

A crippling defeat

Sigmar and his Pantheon were the all-powerful Gods who sought to shepherd all the races within the mortal realms. Aware of the existence of Chaos, they prepared for the eventual day that the Ruinous Powers would invade the mortal realms. As the age of Chaos began, the daemons poured in, slaughtering all who did not join them. At the battle of the Burning Skies Sigmar was betrayed by Nagash, and in turn was decisively defeated, retreating into Azyr. Those few who remained would either be forced to concede and accept the Chaos gods as their own or be slaughtered in the wake of their victory.

The Great Game

Tzeentch, Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh, and the Great Horned Rat though allied against Sigmar and the forces of order, are only allies of convenience when it suits them best. Otherwise, they forever compete within The Great Game, in which each god seeks to dominate the others within the realm of Chaos. This Game of course extends well within the mortal realms, where they constantly vie for control of land, resources, and followers.

Archaon the Everchosen

Perhaps the greatest encapsulation of the Great Game is no other than Archaon. The mortal champion of Chaos, accepting gifts from all gods, but pledging himself to none. Archaon is a mortal, who is speculated to have lived for eons, having ushered in the end of the world that was, and potentially having destroyed other realities since then. His ultimate goal is to pierce into the realm of Azyr, and destroy the last bastion of Order and Sigmar along with it.

The Dark Master

Belakor, the first Daemon Prince to have ever existed, as Archaeon, has existed since the formation of the world that was. Indeed prior to the existence of any Everchosen having been crowned, the ruinous powers would compete over his soul as they now do for Archaon. Belakor would go on to betray the Gods, in an attempt to serve his own purposes, and would in turn fall right into their trap. Cursed to forever crown the Everchosen, but never become him, Belakor lives in a state of pure envy. Envy of the great Archaon, to whom so many swear their loyalty. Belakor, seeks to usurp Archaon’s place within the eyes of the Chaos Gods, and return himself to the glory of his past.

Lore Introduction – Raiders from the Deep (Idoneth Deepkin)

Welcome to the first in a new series of articles where we run through the lore of the Age of Sigmar factions.

These are intended to give you a little flavour into the faction, and hopefully give you an understanding on what drives them.

The World That Was

The story of the Idoneth begins way back in the world that was, right after the forces of chaos forced their way in, and right before they ultimately conquered it. During this time there was a sect of Aelves who worshipped the god known as Mathlann. God of both sea and storm and known as the lord of the Deep, Mathlann was primarily worshipped by sea fairing Aelves, and explorers. When the Chaos gods began to consume the souls of all living creatures, Mathlann sought to protect the few he could from them, and so he took a contingent of his followers and hid them at the deepest depths of the oceans. Despite this, Slaanesh could sense more souls still, and would root out each remote enclave one by one until every single aelvan soul was devoured.

The Age of Myth

During the age of Myth, what remained of the Aelvan pantheon awoke, and sadly Mathlann was not amongst those who survived. Teclis, Tyrion, and Malerion awoke in a world which lacked any Aelves to rule over, and as such devised a plan to capture Slaanesh and pry the souls from his gullet. Each of the three main gods would receive a share of the souls, and Teclis would be the first to receive them. Those souls which were first pulled from Slaanesh, turned out to be those of the idoneth. Those original souls would come to be known as the Cythai.

No Rest for the Wicked

After escaping both from Teclis and Slaanesh, the Cythai found themselves within the throes of a new horror. The combination of Corruption from Slaanesh, Purification ritual from Teclis, and the lack of a God to draw from led the majority of Idoneth to be born with Waning souls. Many of their offspring fail to live past infancy, and those that do (the Namarti) , have drastically shortened life spans. Some would be born with proper souls (Akhelians) and this disparity between the two would go on to form the basic structure of Idoneth society. To ensure their survival something would need to be done. Adapting the magic that Teclis had taught them they would form a new school of magic revolving around the removal of and transmutation of souls. Unfortunately, the souls of Sea life would not be enough to sustain that of an Idoneth body for any more than a couple of days, the only alternative was to seek out greater prey. The Idoneth would form raiding parties that would ascend from the depths raid coastal settlements taking with them the souls of the fallen back to their enclaves. To ensure secrecy, the Idoneth would weave spells to erase the memories of survivors.

How to Play: Black Powder 2nd Edition (Part 1: Introduction)

An Introduction to Black Powder

Black Powder is a game system produced by Warlord Games and written by Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson. As the introduction to the rules says:

Black Powder is a game for militarily inclined gentlemen with straight backs, bristling beards and rheumy eyes that have seen a thing or two. If tales of battle and glory in days-gone-by stir nothing in your breast, if the roar of cannon does not quicken the pulse and set a fire in the belly, then stop reading forthwith. Ours is not an adventure to be embarked upon by the faint hearted. Put down this book and be glad that you have spared yourself the discomforting spectacle of grown men attempting to relive the great conflicts of history with armies of toy soldiers.

So heft your muskets and prepare for battle. The library or billiard room will serve as our battlefield, or else some similarly spacious and secluded refuge. Ensure that children are put to bed and lie safely beyond earshot. Secure the doors against the intrusion of womenfolk as yet unfamiliar with the conventions of war. Ready your armies for the long march to glory.

And finally, let us remember that the ideal accompaniment to the journey may be found in good brandy, fine cigars, and the companionship of like-minded enthusiasts.

Black Powder 2nd Edition (2019)

Black Powder covers the Horse and Musket period from 1701 (War of the Spanish Succession) to 1898 (Second Sudan War). Most commonly you’ll find players use the system to refight engagements from the Napoleonic Wars or the American Civil War.

I personally believe that Horse & Musket games come in one of two formats. Either simulation, where the rules will try and accurately represent a battle of that period in minutiae. Or in a more ‘Arcade’ format, where an approximation of the overall battle is given.

The game itself can be played at most miniature scales, with the smaller scales adding to the big battle feel of the game you’re playing.

Black Powder in 6mm – Image from Irregular Wars

Black Powder doesn’t have miniature removal and instead uses markers to show the status of units. Units are usually made up of 4 stands and these will be arranged to shoe what formation a unit is in. Units are usually at a battalion/squadron level, but you can use Units to represent larger formations such as Brigades.

So if this time period interests you and you have a specific war in mind, Black Powder may be the system for you.

To give you more of a taster, we’ve put together a number of articles covering the basics of a turn in Black Powder which, should give you a feel of how the game plays.

News – Final Weekend of 4 for 3 at Warlord Games

Warlord Games have entered the final weekend of their 4 boxes for the price of 3.

This covers many of their game systems, such as Bolt Action, Konflict 47′, Black Powder, Epic Battles, Hail Caesar and a lot more.

If you’re looking to get into and of these gaming system then this is definitely one way to do it that would save you a lot of money!

A Newcomer’s Guide to the Iron Warriors

The Iron Warriors are the unequaled masters of siege warfare. Their pragmatic and bitter approach to combat led them to capture and garrison strategic worlds throughout the galaxy, before descending on Terra with Horus and their Primarch, Perturabo. Perturabo was at the helm of the IVth Legion, and led the spearhead into the solar system, obliterating the Imperial defenses and opening the way for Horus to make his way to the Emperor.

Wrack and Ruin

This approach to siege warfare is present in the Iron Warriors legion trait: Wrack and Ruin. Wrack and Ruin allows for any Iron Warriors model to increase the strength of any ranged or melee attacks by 1 if that attack targets a Dreadnought, Automata, Vehicle, or Building.

This small bonus may seem minor at first glance, but the ability to more easily punch holes in Dreadnoughts slightly reduces the intimidation factor of those units. Dreadnoughts are by far the most powerful units in the game, and allowing your basic infantry to wound them in melee (even if only on 6’s) can be a huge boon. The other item to keep in mind is that the Land Raider Spartan that comes in the Age of Darkness box (meaning that a huge portion of the game’s player base will come sporting one) can only be threatened by weapons with S8 or greater. The ability to punch holes in armor with S7 guns gives the Iron Warriors access to mass-fire weapons that can threaten enemy heavy armor. Weapons with higher strength values, such as Lascannons or Melta weapons, will absolutely melt Rhinos and Predators, leaving your opponents exposed.

The Iron Warriors advanced reactions, Bitter Fury, is essentially a boosted Return Fire. Once per battle in the opposing player’s shooting phase you can fire at an enemy unit that just shot one of your units. When making this reaction you double the number of shots that the unit would normally make. This will make your opponent think about range and target very carefully while you hold this card in your back pocket. No one will want to be on the receiving end of 10 plasmaguns double-firing for 40 shots.

Warlord Traits

There are three Warlord Traits available to Iron Warriors Praetors. The first, Tyrant of the Apolokron, provides your warlord with the Fearless special rule, but enforces a requirement that your warlord and any unit he joins shoot or charge the closest enemy unit in each phase, if possible. Fearless is a strong ability, but the restriction on this rule seems to outweigh the benefit, since you generally want your warlord to be more flexible than what this allows.

The second trait, Tyrant of the Dodekathon, allows your warlord to pre-bomb an area of the battlefield, nominating one area terrain or building. This terrain either becomes difficult and dangerous terrain, or it becomes weakened (in the case of buildings and fortifications), forcing higher rolls on the damage table.

Tyrant of the Lyssatra provides your Warlord and any infantry unit he joins to add extra dice to ranged attacks, but the guns used for the attack gain Gets Hot, potentially backfiring on your squad. Gets Hot is an interesting rule, and generally is worth the risk of taking the hit, but it adds a layer of complexity to the army, forcing you to choose to potentially sacrifice members of your squad to ensure the enemy dies.

Rites of War

There are only two Rites of War for the Iron Warriors. Both of these provide army-wide buffs affecting both tanks and infantry. The first, The Hammer of Olympia, allows your infantry to fire an additional shot with shrapnel weapons (discussed below) following the same restriction as Fury of the Legion. This rite also allows some of your tanks to ignore the effects of Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned. The final item is an accuracy boost in the form of re-rolling 1s to hit for all shrapnel weapons (which you absolutely should be taking as many as possible).

The Ironfire also provides some buffs to all units in your army and adds some spicy army-build options. The first point is that this allows you to run Arquitors as non-compulsory Troops (although they don’t get Line). There are some general improvements to scatter when using Barrage (which your Arquitors rely on). This also allows some boosts to infantry to protect them from the inevitable moment that your Arquitor barrages go awry and land on top of your own units.

Either Rite provides some overall positive improvements to standard list building, with The Hammer of Olympia being what I expect to see more often. The pure joy of placing up to 21 Arquitor Bombards on the table would be worth seeing, however (almost 4000pts, all told, so you would have to play some truly massive games to hit that level). If you can afford that many Forgeworld models you should absolutely do this, take pictures, and share on our discord so I can tell you how wonderful you are.

Unique Units and Equipment

Legion-specific Enhancements

The Iron Warriors have limited Legion enhancements. There is only one character upgrade, allowing a foot Praetor to gain a bunch of enhancements allowing him to repair vehicles and gain some extra utility equipment for whatever unit he joins. Depending on how many vehicles, dreadnoughts, and automata you run this upgrade will be well worth the 20pts.

Iron Warriors characters also have the ability to replace select power weapons with Graviton weapons. These weapons aren’t an improvement over their default version unless you expect to be in melee with Vehicles, where the Haywire rule will come into play. As interesting as these weapons are, why would you want to rely on punching a tank when you’re the Iron Warriors and can bring your own tanks to the field?

The final upgrade is stand-out great, and you should absolutely spend the points any time you have the opportunity. For two points per gun, any bolter, bolt pistol, or heavy bolter can be replaced with a Shrapnel weapon. Shrapnel weapons lose some range and AP from their standard versions but gain the Pinning keyword. Any time you are given the opportunity to pin your opponent’s units you should take it, and with so many weapons on the field that can take this you should be forcing multiple pinning tests on your opponents every turn. This bonus also gives the opportunity to shut off a charge with some lucky overwatch rolls, as a Charge is cancelled if the charging unit becomes pinned.

Legion Specific Units

Perturabo, the Primarch of the Iron Warriors is an odd unit. His Battlesmith (2+) makes him one of the best options in the game at keeping tanks alive but requires him to hang out in the back of an army with your predators or sicarans. Master of Automata is only present to allow him to take his Iron Circle retinue. His damage output is nothing to write home about, and without line his inability to be killed (T7 with a 3+ invulnerable save is incredible) makes him better at keeping other units alive by absorbing shots, rather than really dealing any damage himself. Even his cortex controller, which makes an excellent buff for your Tyrant Siege Terminators, can be obtained cheaper from a Forgelord Centurion.

Ultimately, for the points, you’re better off with a few Centurions and a Lord of War. Perturabo can make a great centerpiece, but you could argue that he isn’t completely worth his points. At the end of the day, if your opponent brings a Primarch, Perturabo is going to get tied up for the whole fight, and if your opponent doesn’t bring a primarch they will just play keep-away with their tanks and infantry for the whole fight.

The Iron Circle Maniple is an equally disappointing unit for the points cost. For slightly less than a Contemptor Dreadnought you get an automaton with several 7s in its stat line, a graviton maul, and a shrapnel cannon. What hurts the unit is the low WS and BS, hitting with that cannon on 4s, and with WS4 it can’t fight any better than a basic tacital. These units really shine when attacking tanks in melee with the Haywire rule on their maul, but with only 3 attacks (4 on the charge) you could get pretty similar output from a lascannon-equipped predator. The big draw for this unit is the ability for Perturabo to take them as a retinue, so long as you commit to taking three of them (bringing the cost of Perturabo + the maniple to around 900pts, around 33% of you points in a standard 3000pt game).

The final unique unit for the Iron Warriors are the Tyrant Siege Terminators, a group of 5-10 Cataphractii Terminators with cyclone missile launchers strapped to their backs. These boys are possibly one of the best flexible ranged threats in the game, with the ability o punch holes in tanks, infantry, or aircraft from 48” away. The addition on an Omni-scope on the Siege Master means that they do not suffer from the negative effects of Night Fighting and allows a free use of the Interceptor advanced reaction. While they are expensive (300 pts for the first 5, and 55pts for each additional) they make up that cost by being durable infantry with great damage output. For some additional reliability, you can support them with a Master of Signals to get the additional hit bonus from the cognis-signum.

Final Thoughts

While the unique units and some of the wargear options fall a little flat, the Iron Warriors have some very strong Rites of War to make up for them. Wrack and Ruin makes them one of the best tank-killer legions in the game and the addition of shrapnel bolters forcing pinning checks constantly will help keep your opponent’s infantry in check as well.

What’s Next

As this article is part of a series, I will spend the next few months going into more detail about the rules of the game and the specifics of each legion. I would like to know if there is specific content our readers would like to see, so leave a comment or join us in the Woehammer discord to let us know what points you would like to see discussed.

Vanguard: Disciples of Tzeentch – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

Following on from Danny and Patrick’s excellent Battletome review we thought it would be great to give you an option for a beginners army based on the new Vanguard: Disciples of Tzeentch.

Vanguard: Disciples of Tzeentch

This new boxed set priced at £80 through Games Workshop comes with 27 models in total to give you an (almost) complete beginners army. I say almost, the total points in this set amounts to 730 points.

Included in the box you have:

  • 1x Magister on Disc of Tzeentch (145 points)
  • 3x Screamers of Tzeentch (100 points)
  • 3x Flamers of Tzeentch (190 points)
  • 10x Tzaangors (175 points)
  • 10x Kairic Acolytes (120 points)

But we want a full 1,000 point army that we can start playing with, so to add to the above I’d possibly look at buying a Fluxmaster, the Tzeentch Endless Spells and a Chaos Spawn (buy a couple, they can be summoned by certain spells).

What will it all cost?

  • Battletome: Disciples of Tzeentch £32.50
  • Vanguard: Disciples of Tzeentch £80
  • Fluxmaster £27.50
  • Tzeentch Endless Spells £27.50
  • Chaos Spawn £30

That’s total of £197.50 at Games Workshop prices for everything you need to play at 1,000 points with Disciples of Tzeentch.

You can of course get these cheaper through your local retailers. Element Games offer between 15-25% off on these prices and the total of this army would cost just £166.37 through their store. Why not use our affiliate link below to start your army today?

The List

Army Faction: Disciples of Tzeentch
Subfaction: Hosts Arcanum
– Grand Strategy: Master of Destiny

LEADERS
Magister on Disc of Tzeentch (145)*
General
– Command Trait: Arch Sorcerer
– Artefact: Spiteful Shield
– Spell: Arcane Suggestion
– Spell: Infusion Arcanum
– Spell: Shield of Fate
– Spell: Bolt of Tzeentch
Fluxmaster (170)*
Spell: Unchecked Mutation
– Spell: Blue Fire of Tzeentch

BATTLELINE
10x Tzaangors (175)*
10x Kairic Acolytes (120)*
3x Screamers of Tzeentch (100)*

OTHER
3x Flamers of Tzeentch (190)*

ENDLESS SPELLS AND INVOCATIONS
1x Burning Sigil of Tzeentch (50)
1x Tome of Eyes (40)

CORE BATTALIONS
*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 990/1000

Aside from the Acolytes and Tzaangors this is a quick army with all of the other units moving a minimum of 9″ per round. We’re also magic heavy in true Tzeentch fashion with the ability to use 6 spells from their lore and two endless spells. Movement and casting with your leaders will be key.

How it could play

Magister on Disc of Tzeentch

Our general for this particular list. He’s quick with a 16″ move which should be enough to both keep him out of combats you don’t want him to be part of, as well as keeping him range for casting one of his myriad of spells.

He’s a single cast wizard with the ability to cast two at the 17% risk of changing into a Chaos Spawn. I would only cast two spells with this chap if you’re on the ropes in a game, otherwise stick to one.

It’s not a great model for melee, so try and keep it out. That said if it is in combat then we have the Spiteful Shield which will cause two mortal wounds on an attacker if you make any save rolls of 6 in melee.

In terms of the spells this model knows we’ve given it the Arch Sorcerer command ability to give it access to two more spells for a total of four.

Bolt of Tzeentch will allow it to cause D6 mortals on a unit, Arcane Suggestion will allow you to debuff enemy units making them easier to wound or making it harder to attack for them. Shield of Fate will give one of your units a ward save. While Infusion Arcanum will give buffs to its own attacks in combat. Something for every eventuality and that’s not including the two Endless Spells we’ve picked.

Fluxmaster

This “chap” comes with his own Arcane Tome ability which, once per style will allow you to re-roll one casting roll for this unit, it also allows you to add 3 to that casting roll when you do so. For its spell I’ve chosen Unchecked Mutation to go alongside its Blue Fire of Tzeentch.

Blue Fire of Tzeentch is particularly tasty, rolling nine dice for an enemy unit within range. For each 5+ roll that unit suffers 1 mortal wound and your force gains 1 Fate point. Unchecked Mutation causes D3 mortal wounds on a unit and if that successfully removed a model then you cause an additional D3 mortals.

As with the Magister you’ll ideally be keeping both of these characters out of combat and casting as many spells as you can to raise fate points. You should be able to manage two or three Fate points per turn giving you an opportunity to summon units at around turn three or four.

Tzaangors

As mentioned, these and the Acolytes are the slowest units in your force. That being said, both units are still movement 6″…. And they can run and charge in the same turn. If they do charge then each model can add 1 to the number of attacks they make with their beaks. This doubles those attacks from 10 to 20!

If you have 10 of these all with paired blades you’ll find they’re kicking out 30 attacks at 3+/3+/-/1 giving you on average a damage output (along with their beaks) of 16 before any saves (19 on the charge). That’ll remove some lighter units in a single turn. With both these and the Acolytes you’ll want to work in concert with your magic to make sure you’re removing the units you need to remove in order to win, as damage output is not the best with Tzeentch.

With the amount of damage this unit has the potential to do, it makes it your hammer. Tie up units with the Acolytes or Screamers then pile these boys in to bring them down.

Kairic Acolytes

Coming with Sorcerous Bolt at 18″ range, this is your only unit with any ranges firepower. Hitting on 4+, and wounding on 3+ with no rend (but this can be improved to -1 through their own spell) and only a single point of damage they aren’t Sentinels. They do an average of 3.3 damage at range and so make perfect units to chip damage off lightly armoured enemy.

They are classed as a wizard (with a +1 and so can cast a spell and also unbind in each hero phase. A lot of the time you may be improving the rend of their Sorcerous Bolts, but that’s good, as any successful spell can generate you a summoning point for more units!

Get them as near to enemy casters as possible, as each time they successfully cast near this unit they’ll suffer a mortal wound on 4+.

Finally, this unit has the option to take three models with shields. These shields give you a ward save of 6+ so remove these after you’ve removed other models to keep your ward save going.

Screamers of Tzeentch

These are quick, and they can dish out mortal wounds as well. With a 16″ move, if you use the movement to go over another unit you’ll cause mortal wounds to that unit on 4+ for each Screamer. Meaning on average you’ll score one to two mortal wounds. This is great for perhaps adding some chip damage to a hero or for whittling down an enemy anvil unit.

Once in combat they’re ok but not great. Causing on average 4 damage at rend -1. They’re better for harassing the enemy and using the pass over skill to cause mortals. Also use them to capture objectives quickly.

Remember to use Locus of Change if these are in combat and within 12″ the Fluxmaster as enemies will suffer a -1 to hit against them.

Flamers of Tzeentch

Another fairly decent ranged unit. It’s 18″ attacks should cause on average 6 damage (8 if the target has 5 or more models) before saves, which isn’t to be sniffed at. They’ll wipe small cheap screens like Hobgrots with ease.

If you summon an Exalted Flamer, be sure to place it near to these chaps to give them +1 attack each. That’ll push their average damage before saves up to 10 if they target a unit with more than 5 models.

Like the Screamers, they’re fairly fragile in combat so keep them out of it unless absolutely necessary or you need to finish off a unit. Take advantage of their ranged attacks.

Like the Screamers, remember to use Locus of Change if these are in combat and within 12″ the Fluxmaster as enemies will suffer a -1 to hit against them.

Other Notes

We’ve included two Endless Spells in this list. The first being the Burning Sigil of Tzeentch. This spell cause D3 mortal wounds to enemy units within 9″. If this is successful, then you also get to drop a Chaos Spawn model within each unit that suffered a casualty from this spell. Chaos Spawn‘s can be great to pin down units that are causing you problems as they’ll heal ALL their wounds if there is a friendly wizard within 9″ of them that successfully casts without their spell being unbound. They won’t stick around long as they’re only five wounds with a five plus save, but they’re worth it, especially if a spell is giving them out for free.

The second Endless Spell is the Tome of Eyes. Which when summoned will follow its caster around allowing them to re-roll their casting rolls. It also gives the caster access to yet another spell, The Parchment Curse, this will allow you to cause D3 mortal wounds to an enemy unit within 18″ of the caster on 3+. For each model slain by this they have to subtract 1 from their bravery for the REST OF THE GAME.

As Disciples of Tzeentch a wizard in your army can automatically cast a spell (the enemy doesn’t get an opportunity to unbind) that summons one of your Endless Spells. As this happens before the first Hero Phase it may be better to cast the Tome of Eyes to give the casting benefits to your caster in your first Hero Phase.

The other key thing to remember with Disciples of Tzeentch is that you can automatically unbind a spell with one of your Wizards in the first, third and fifth battle round thanks to our subfaction Hosts Arcanum.

You also have access to Destiny Dice where you roll nine dice at the start of the game and place them to one side. These dice can be used to replace a roll you have made for:

  • Casting Rolls
  • Unbinding Rolls
  • Dispelling Rolls
  • Run Rolls
  • Charge Rolls
  • Hit Rolls
  • Wound Rolls
  • Save Rolls
  • Rolls that determine the number of attacks or damage of a weapon
  • Battleshock Rolls

Remember to keep track of your Fate Points! You’ll get a Fate Point each time you successfully cast a sell that isn’t unbound. You can use Fate Points to summon units into your army. Once at 10 (which is the minimum needed to summon) you’ll have enough to bring either 3 Screamers of Tzeentch, 10 Brimstone Horrors or 10 Blue Horrors onto the table.

The army should be a lot of fun, especially if you like dominating the Magic Phase.

Where to go next?

I’d possibly look at buying a few of the summonable units such as Blue Horrors and another box of Screamers.

You get great value for money from the Burning Chariot kit. This can be used to build a Fateskimmer and an Exalted Flamer, a Fluxmaster and an Exalted Flamer, a Burning Chariot and a Changecaster or a Blue Scribes kitbash and a Changecaster.

Either way you go, have fun and let us know how you do!

Tale of Wargamers – Introduction

What is a Tale of Wargamers?

Back in the mid 90’s when I was first getting into Warhammer and wargaming in a big way there used to be an article called ‘A Tale of Wargamers’ in the White Dwarf. The premise was simple, each person had a budget of £25 and spent that each month on expanding their army.

I thought it would be great to try and do this again in the current day and age. But also, we’re making it even harder for ourselves! What if we approached this as though we had never bought any models, paints or brushes before?! As in, what should a complete beginner look at purchasing and where from?!

So, if you’re a beginner to Warhammer or in fact any wargaming system (not just Games Workshop), then you may find this series interesting and useful. For those a bit more long in the tooth, you may just find this plain entertaining!

The Rules

As there are a few members of the team taking part in the Tale of Wargamers from all corners of the globe we first had to agree the limits.

  • UK based members have £25 GBP
  • US based members have $35 USD
  • Australian based members have $65 AUD
  • Rest of Europe have €30

You can use independent retailers, Amazon (I wouldn’t, but you could….) or Games Workshop for your supplies of tools, paints and models. Preferably eBay should be avoided as prices can be difficult to replicate.

Anything that isn’t spent in one month can be carried over to the next. You CANNOT spend more than the budget allows.

Finally, purchasing 3D miniature prints from a vendor on Etsy or similar is fine, however, we are banned from using our own printers for his purpose.

Warhammer Fantasy and Oldhammer Players

If you’ve already got a large collection of miniatures but want to take part, then use the budget as normal and consider each set of 10 models/artillery or similar to cost £25 and a hero/character to cost £15. Then purchase the paints etc as normal. I.e. you have a set of 10 Trollslayers in your pile of shame. Deduct £25 from your budget and paint them up.

I’m not going to lie, we think it’s going to be tough, but it is doable! And don’t worry, none of us will be resorting to using PVA glue to stick our models together!

Want to keep up to date on everyone’s progress? Why not join our Discord, on there you’ll fine the Tale of Wargamers channel where we post our thoughts and musings throughout the month.

Beginner’s Guide to The Disciples of Tzeentch

The new Disciples of Tzeentch tome has arrived! If you’re a collector, you’ve likely already looked into what this book will bring you, but if not you can find out right here! If you’re brand new to Tzeentch, or if you just want to know what kind of mystic filth you’ll be playing down at your local club this October, allow us to fill you in.

Who is Tzeentch?

The chaos god Tzeentch is the herald of change, represented by mutated flesh and gouts of multicoloured flames that “transform” you into piles of ash. He is also a purveyor of both secrets and lies, hatching elaborate plans so convoluted and nefarious that if one seems to have failed he can simply claim that’s how he wanted it to go all along. Oh and he’s really into birds…?

Tzeentch’s followers include his daemonic hordes of imp-like Horrors, fire breathing raincoats inventively called Flamers, and mantaray-like flying beasts called Screamers. On the mortal side you can find the avian beastman Tzaangors, some of whom ride into battle atop daemonic frisbees called Discs of Tzeentch (which are themselves living creatures), and Tzeentch’s human servants the Karic Acolytes who are basically a bunch of bird cosplayers with the physique of a WWE superstar. Wizards of various shapes and sizes also flock (heh) to Tzeentch’s banners, notably the nefarious Gaunt Summoners who transport your slower units around through silver portals and this update’s signature foot-hero model the curseling, who is actually a buy-one-get-one-free champion with 2 heads and the ability to turn his opponent’s spells against them.

Tzeentch only has 2 monsters in the roster, not counting allies from other armies, but they are his greatest servants and extremely powerful Wizards to boot. The Lord of Change is a giant, bird-like daemon who’s mixture of spellcasting, combat potential and manoeuvrability makes them a versatile unit who add a great deal of value to an army. The named version, Kairos Fateweaver, does everything the Lord of Change does but a little better. You should expect to see these centrepiece models as part of many Tzeentch armies.

Coming soon to a table near you

How does Tzeentch play?

Tzeentch’s signature ability is Destiny Dice. At the beginning of the game a Tzeentch player can roll 9 dice and place them to one side. Before making most kinds of rolls the Tzeentch player can choose to expend one or more of the dice from their Destiny Dice and use its result in place of whatever roll they were about to make. This ability is absolutely incredible if used intelligently, and can guarantee success in game-changing plays like making a 12 inch charge to secure an objective or guaranteeing that your general survives by passing a crucial save roll.

Typically any Tzeentch list will include a variety of spellcasters churning out a varied mix of buffs, debuffs and mortal wounds. Every time a spell is successfully cast they also generate fate points which allow them to summon daemonic reinforcements so you should expect their forces to expand as the game goes on. Particularly if your opponent has a lot of wizards too, because even enemy spells will feed into Tzeentch’s summoning pool! They can also start the game with one of their signature endless spells already on the field and unable to be dispelled for the first battle round, including the powerful Burning Sigil which does mortal wounds to all enemy units in an 18” bubble and has the potential to summon a Chaos Spawn to frustrate your opponent’s movements. Frankly there are too many cool magical abilities and bonuses to list. Basically: they’re really, really good at magic.

Tzeentch has access to a lot of shooting, which combined with their magic output makes them deadly at range. Of course Tzeentch’s units tend to be quite squishy in exchange – unless they are able to buff their survivability with vital spells and abilities. The Arcane Shield spell for example can give a unit a 5+ ward, and all daemon units have a built-in -1 to be hit if they are standing close to a Daemon Hero (including the heroes themselves). Still, even fully buffed Tzeentch isn’t the tankiest faction in the game and you should treat them like the glass cannons they are. Don’t let your units get into a fight and trade blows. Make surgical strikes, only fight battles you know you can win, and abuse your relatively high mobility and summoning to control the board.

Horrors of Tzeentch have a unique ability that allows a Pink horror to split into 2 Blue Horrors upon death, who in turn become Brimstone Horrors when they die. This means that a unit of 10 pink horrors may not seem very imposing at first, but they are actually a whopping 50 wounds worth of meat shields! They are a perfect unit for holding objectives although at 250 points for 10 pink horrors it’s quite an investment for a Battleline unit that doesn’t do a great amount of damage without multiple stacking buffs. If you use them, you’re likely to want to invest in some heroes specifically to make them extra durable or extra killy and really get the most out of them.

Tzaangors and Kairic Acolytes are the other two main types of battleline, both of which are more traditional infantry with fairly well rounded stats. Tzeentch has 3 conditional battleline units however: Flamers, Screamers and Burning Chariots (which is a flamer, standing on a disc, being pulled by screamers, in a trenchcoat, trying to get into an R rated movie). On top of that they can include coalition units from both Slaves to Darkness and Beasts of Chaos, and allies from Slaanesh meaning that the range of models they can field is dizzyingly broad. In that respect, like the other chaos gods, there is a great deal of room for personalization in lists compared to other, more restrictive factions.

Should I play Tzeentch?

You’ll probably enjoy Tzeentch if you enjoy a more cerebral army. You really get what you put into this one: if you’re on top of your movement and are able to look several turns ahead Tzeentch’s rules will reward you with an army that can pull off all manner of tricksy shenanigans. It’s not the type of army you play if you just want to push everything into the middle of the board and roll dice until one side breaks. But if you mess up, you can get punished hard. The versatility of what Tzeentch can accomplish sometimes works against them, because although they can do a lot of cool things they can’t do it all at once. When the stars align however, you will walk away from the game feeling like an absolute genius. Honestly if you’re on the fence about starting this army try not to overthink it. After all, whether you’re aware of it or not, Tzeentch has already made this choice for you…

A Newcomer’s Guide to the Emperor’s Children

The Emperor’s Children were the only legion to bear the Palatine Aquila, the Emperor’s standard. The Emperor’s Children embodied all aspects of what the Emperor expected from the legiones astartes. They were noble, loyal, strong, and civilized. These expectations drove the third legion to seek absolute perfection. This desire for perfection led to their twisting of pride into a desire for excess and hedonism. Once the legion began to follow the Warmaster their martial prowess saw massacres and brutality against the Imperium performed by the hands of a once-loyal legion.

The IIIrd Legion’s Primarch – Fulgrim

Flawless Execution

The martial prowess of the Emperor’s Children is represented through a tremendously powerful legion tactic. When an Emperor’s Children unit performs a charge make their melee attacks one initiative step higher than normal. Note that this expressly works after any initiative modifiers are taken into account. Any Vehicle units gain +1 to hit when firing with defensive weapons during a reaction.

At first glance this seems very minor, but the execution of this rule is extremely powerful. Because wounds and casualties are determined at the end of each initiative step, if a model is removed as a casualty before it has the chance to fight in a combat, that model’s attacks are lost. If two opposing models have the same initiative, all the wounds and casualties are considered to happen simultaneously, so a model removed as a casualty still has the opportunity to deal damage on the way down. This rule gives the Emperor’s Children the ability to severely reduce the amount of incoming damage following a charge, by removing a threat before it has the chance to strike.

This also greatly improves the use of Unwieldy weapons, since this increase happens after initiative modifiers are calculated. A powerfist hitting at Initiative 2 allows an Emperor’s Chosen Cataphractii squad the chance to hit opposing terminators with valuable Instant Death attacks before they are allowed the chance to die in kind. This also increases the ability for the Emperor’s Children to build expert duelists through Centurions and Praetors, who already strike at higher Initiative than most units. A high-value character issuing a challenge can potentially kill the enemy warlord before they have the chance to strike back.

At the end of the day this trait will make the third legion a dangerous melee threat. Not because they hit harder, but because they can reduce the risk of incoming damage. Overall, this cements the Emperor’s Children as a powerful melee faction.

Warlord Traits

There are three warlord traits to choose from for the Emperor’s Children, and they highlight an interesting dynamic for the game as a whole. The game does not dictate loyalty to the Emperor simply from the choice of legion. Yes, the Emperor’s Children are considered a traitor legion, but they can be played as loyalists. The warlord traits reflect this by providing one trait that can only be taken by traitors, one that can only be taken by loyalists, and one that is alliance agnostic. Each trait is solid, and they provide huge benefits with some key restrictions.

The first trait, The Broken Mirror, is restricted to warlords with the Traitor allegiance. It allows some morale mitigation for multi-model units within 12” of the warlord. If a unit that meets the conditions fails a morale check, instead of falling back, it takes a single wound that can’t be negated in any way and is then considered to have passed the morale check.

The second trait requires you to play a loyalist warlord. A warlord with the Martyrs of Isstvan trait makes any unit locked in combat with a legiones astartes unit with the traitor allegiance gain a bonus to hit. Consider this in context with the legion tactic and you’ll see that this can force your opponent to be careful about how they choose to engage a key unit with your warlord attached. The only issue is the target restriction, especially since the release of the latest books may see more games played where this warlord trait would not come into use.

The final warlord trait, Paragon of Excellence, can be played by either allegiance. This trait combines some function of the previous two by improving units’ combat abilities through morale. Every unit that passes a morale check within 12” of the warlord gains a bonus to their Weapon Skill until the end of the Emperor’s Children’s player’s next turn. Given the relatively high leadership values of marine armies, and the ability to improve that morale by attaching independent characters to key units, you will regularly trigger this ability.

Rites of War

The Emperor’s Children have two Rites of War. Both rites focus on generally improving the function of your infantry, either by adding a bonus to movement and positioning or by providing access to unique enhancements.

The first rite, The Maru Skara, will provide you with movement buffs that place you on par with the White Scars. By taking this rite, you have the option to place four of your Elite, Troop, or Fast Attack units into reserves. The units that remain on the battlefield gain a +1 to their Move characteristic until the turn that the reserve units are brought in. This is important to note, since your standard marine gaining a +1 to Move also means that they gain +1 to Charge rolls.

The second Rite, IIIrd Company Elite, allows you to take Kakophoni squads as troops. It also allows you to give all models in any given Infantry unit a surgical augmentation. The bonuses from these augmentations do a lot to offset the points cost of the equipment. You also need to have a good system of tracking which unit has which enhancement. Variety is nice, but your game can move at a snail’s pace if you increase your bookkeeping load too much.

Legion-specific Enhancements

Speaking of surgical augmentations: there are three to choose from. All of them require the Traitor allegiance and can only be placed on Character models. Sonic Shriekers provides a to-hit penalty to your opponents any time they are charged or charge your unit, so long as that enemy unit isn’t immune to Fear(X). Sub-sonic Pulsers remove the penalties to Leadership and Ballistic Skill imposed by Night Fighting. The final augmentation, a Sonic Lance, provides your model with a Template weapon with Breaching and Pinning, although the low strength value will limit its effectiveness against many opponents. The Lance can be effective on a large unit of Tactical Marines or Despoilers in a IIIrd Company Elite force, providing as many as 20 template weapons in a squad for a mere 30 points.

Outside of these augmentations, there are two power weapon upgrades: a sword and a lance. The lance is usually a better upgrade on the units that can take it, since the combination of Murderous Strike, Breaching, and a strength bonus will see more utility. There is something to be said about the benefits of a power sword with Rending and Murderous Strike, since your 6s to wound are going to be devastating when they happen. The upgrade on the sword will also make your Word Bearers friends jealous, since they pay 10 points for the same upgrade.

The Emperor’s Children also gain access to the Phoenix Warden, a unique consul upgrades for your centurions. Think of the Phoenix Warden as a modified champion, with rules focused on improving melee efficiency for himself and other units around him. The issue is that any bonus he gains from the Skill Unmatched special rule always reduces his attacks or Weapon Skill, and his Living Icons ability can more easily be attained through Legion Vexillas. Overall not a bad option, and decently flavorful, but the rules could use a tweak, given the points cost for the upgrade.

Lord Commander Eidolon

Legion Specific Units

As Primarchs go, Fulgrim is relatively straightforward. He’s a melee beatstick, with a collection of tools and rules to exceed in that role. Ost standard units are going to have a hard time dealing with him once the combat begins, but, as with most Primarchs, he can be played around simply by keeping him out of combat. He doesn’t have any real movement buffs and his increased Bulky value when compared to other Primarchs (Fulgrim demands more legroom) means that he will need something akin to a Land Raider Spartan to carry him and a retinue.

Past Fulgrim, the third legion brings along a pair of melee units, Phoenix Terminators and Palatine Blade Squads which are melee-oriented, buffed versions of Tartaros squads and Veteran squads, respectively. The final infantry squad available is the Kakophoni Squad. These are a sort of Heavy Support Squad with special weapons and surgical augmentations unique to the Emperor’s Children. Overall, an Emperor’s Children player should feel pleased with the units here. None of them will blow you away, but all three have solid rules and equipment.

In addition to the above units, there are three unique characters: Lord Commander Eidolon, Captain Saul Tarvitz, and Captain Lucius. Eidolon is a mildly upgrades jump-pack Praetor with some flavorful wargear. His warlord trait provides bonuses to fight a selected “Rival” at the cost of limiting his ability to declare reacitons. Saul Tarvitz is another upgrades Praetor, but significantly cheaper than the other two. He has a bevy of rules that ultimately break down to make him very good at fighting other Emperor’s Children. If your local meta has a bunch of other third legion players he may see some use, otherwise you’re probably better off with a Phoenix Warden Centurion.

The final character, Captain Lucius, is designed to be an excellent duelist. You want him in melee immediately, and you want him issuing and responding to challenges as often as he can. His warlord trait allows any unit to which he is attached to benefit from the Fearless special rule so long as he is engaged in a challenge.

All three of the characters are interesting, but I don’t see Eidolon or Tarvitz fitting into every list. Model collectors and painters can’t go wrong here, though, as all three models are stunning. The detail present on each model does a fantastic job of displaying exactly how obsessed with decorum the third legion was.

Final Thoughts

Given the above, the Emperor’s Children make a mean melee legion. Gaining combat advantages on the charge can be played around, however, and a savvy opponent will know to focus down the right targets at the right time. Positioning and timing are important, but the Emperor’s Children demand perfection, and they are certainly capable of attaining it.

What’s Next

As this article is part of a series, I will spend the next few months going into more detail about the rules of the game and the specifics of each legion. I would like to know if there is specific content our readers would like to see, so leave a comment or join us in the Woehammer discord to let us know what points you would like to see discussed.