Category Archives: New Releases

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…

Disciples of Tzeentch: Battletome Review

The Changers of Ways return! And fittingly, we’ve decided to try and change our review format a little. Mainly because, to support the new release, we’ve decided to break things up and create a conversational, high-level review, a more detailed guide to playing the faction, and the next in our ‘Getting Started’ style series.

So read on to discover what two of the finest (and by finest, we mean, ‘most attracted to bright colours’) minds of Woehammer had to say about the new Tzeentch Tome.

What’s CHANGED in this Tome? Eh? *cough*

Danny:  So, Patrick – let’s start with what we were hoping for from this book. Put simply, I was hoping for balance. I feel like 3e books (apart from the opening brace of SCE and Orruks, who suffered from time honoured first-book syndrome) have been wonderfully balanced, internally and externally. Such a control and magic heavy army as Tzeentch risked being problematic to balance, so I thought if they could make a few of the lesser seen units more viable without breaking the game, we could all be happy.   How about you?

Patrick: I like variety and flavor, and with a few exceptions (looking at you, Gore-gruntas) AoS 3e has been good about making enough units viable in each tome to prevent mono-build and spam lists. Like you said, heavy magic armies make that balance and viability a little more difficult, but I was mostly hoping to see some varied lists start to show up in the top 10 spots at tournaments.

As someone who plays against Tzeentch rather than as Tzeencth, a selfish part of me was also hoping that the army would be bad. I don’t think I got my wish.

Danny : Good segue to your ‘favourite’ 3 things about this book, and a one line summary of where you think it will land competitively?

Patrick: My favorite part of the book is the spell lores. There are two spell lores with 11 spells between them. All of those spells are great, with maybe one or two exceptions. Tzeentch players are going to be able to customize their Wizards to perform whatever specific task they want. Past there, I think the summoning mechanic is interesting, and generating summoning points with every spell successfully cast means that even high level units like Lords of Change will see summons. I also like that the mechanic gives some counterplay, since your opponent can technically block your summons by killing your heroes, or swarming them with units.

The Change Covens are also great, and you will easily see two different Tzeentch armies have very different playstyles based on the chosen Coven. While some are going to be chosen more often than others for competitive games, I think there is play for each. Guild of Summoners will probably see the most play, but there’s something to be said for Pyrofane Cult and Cult of the Transient Form, both of which improve the utility of your battleline units. Competitively I think we’re going to see this army float to the top for a while.

The options that are presented are strong. I will say that I think the army is going to suffer against some current top contenders, though. Thunder Kroak lists are going to create problems for spellcasting and may be effective enough to delay summoning, and some top-tier Stormcast and Ironjawz lists will present problems for Tzeentch’s relative squishiness. That all being said, Tzeentch was in a good position before this book came out. We’ll see if the win rate breaks the 55% barrier that they were already flirting with.

Big Bird Make More Stuff Cast Good Now

What about you? I expect that you have more experience to see some exciting changes.

Danny: Yep, the new Guild of Summoners capping the 2nd LoC summon at 18 is potentially huge, especially given there are now plenty of ways to generate fate points, including one off guarantee chunks of them. The spells, predictably, do kick ass too – the strongest for me is easily Arcane Suggestion due to the tactical flexibility of it. Choosing whether to turn off commands, -1 to hit and wound, or put an extra -1 rend on a unit is absolutely game-changing in many circumstances

Danny: I’m not sure I agree on the Change Covens though. I like that they offer plenty of conditional battleline now, but they’re definitely not all created equal. Eternal Conflagration giving extra rend to flamers is potentially very strong – combo with the above spell for -2 rend flamers for example, screened by horrors etc.   But I think Hosts Arcanum (one free unbind and nothing else), Transient Form  (very unhelpful fight on death on Acolytes with a 6 generating a Tzangor) (and Pyrofane Cult super niche extra damage from Acolytes shooting) are all hot garbage, basically, and I see no reason to take any of them outside of fluff or really loving your Acolytes and wanting to juice them to the max.

Patrick: Interjection: I do love fluff and Acolytes.

Danny:   Interjection noted!

As a counterpoint, I’m going to list my 3 least favourite things about the book.

1. A whole bunch of the artifacts are geared towards melee (e.g. Daemonheart being a once per battle, number of MWs equal to battleround within 1″ of the bearer) with no good melee heroes to utilise them.

2. The aforementioned Change Coven internal balance – I think there are basically 2.5 competitive ones and 3 assuredly garbage ones. It’s a shame, given they could really have been a way to elevate Tzangors or similar that doesn’t really exist anywhere else in the book.

3. Warscroll wise, there are quite a few heroes who just don’t really seem to have a well defined niche and are variations on a theme. There’s some missing identity and fun factor there for me.

Patrick: I 100% agree on the relics. There are some strong choices, but there’s never a good reason to put a melee-focused option on a Tzeentch Hero. You’re always better off with something that’s going to improve your spellcasting like the Nine-Eyed Tome, or your Destiny Dice mechanic like The Eternal Shroud. I don’t see a lot of good uses for the Arcanite Artefacts at all, though. Especially the “deal mortals equal to the battle round” appearing twice. That is either going to do nothing, or only deal a solid chunk of mortals too late in the game to do anything. I also don’t like the number of “feels bad” mechanics in the book.

The ability for a Lord of Change to simply turn your endless spells back on you is going to feel rotten every time it happens. The presence of a non-interactive Grand Strategy that only requires you to have Destiny Dice equal to or greater than 9 at the end of the battle is bad. It guarantees that you succeed without giving your opponent the opportunity to play around it.

Danny: Moving on – we’re not going to talk about every damn allegiance ability and army enhancement. Some stuff got taken away, some stuff has been streamlined – but let’s quickly talk about Arcane Armies, which is an excellent new rule allowing for a Tzeentch endless spell to be auto-cast before the start of the first turn, which can’t be unbound in the first battle round – how do you see that playing out?

This is huge!

Patrick: I really like Arcane Armies. I think we’ll mostly see the Tome of Eyes to get rerolls on casting. That will guarantee an effective first hero phase, especially for a unit like a Lord of Change, and push some summoning points early on. If the ability was not restricted to faction endless spells I think it would be broken. A guaranteed turn 1 purple sun, or deploying in a way for all of your wizards to get the benefit of the Chronomatic Cogs would be devastating. As it is, it’s a nice ability that won’t be game changing.

Danny: Tome of Eyes is great but it’s hard to overlook Sigil – the ability to do multiple instances of d3 mortals and turn stuff into spawn in both turns of the first battle round – maybe pinning units in place and killing more in melee is potentially huge. I think it is a game changer!

Now, we both agree the artifacts are, overall, a missed opportunity. Do we feel the same way about the command abilities? Any stand outs for you?

Patrick: The Command Abilities either stink or they’re amazing, and there isn’t a lot of in-between. Cult Demagogue providing a 1/6 chance of automatic casting without the ability to be unbound is incredible, and Arcane Sacrifice can seriously improve the function of your wizards early-game, since your opponent will generally want to deploy outside of the 18” danger zone. I personally don’t love the Daemon traits, they don’t seem to synergize well with what the units want to do outside of Arch-Sorcerer providing two extra known spells. (edited)

Outside of those, we are once again seeing a few abilities to improve the melee capabilities of your Arcanite units, which you will never take, and they wasted ink by putting them in the book. (edited)

Patrick: I’m interested in your thoughts on the matched play rules, particularly the grand strategies. I have some strong opinions, but maybe you can provide some counterpoints to my rage. (edited)

Danny : They’re undoubtedly strong. Maybe close or equal to the strongest of any book in 3e so far. Master of Destiny – ‘add the total value of your unused Destiny Dice – score the GS if they’re above 9’ is effectively guaranteed. The others are good, but why would you ever not take this one?

The battle tactics… Call for Change wants you to summon a LoC. In Summoners, with an obvious combo of Enhancements/units, you’ll be able to guarantee this on the appropriate turn at near zero risk. Mass Conjuration needs a wizard casts 3 spells that go off and aren’t unbound in a turn. You’re Tzeentch so this isn’t hard. Ninefold Dismantlemant asks you to kill a unit with 9 or more models, or a monster with 9+ wounds. This will be almost any unit, in reality, on the board. Reckless Abandon wants a moral more than 18″ from an enemy to complete a charge – bit naff but ways to get it done. And Tides of Anarchy wants you to take control of an objective from your opponent and have 9+ models within 6″ of it.

Now, as a DoK player I’ve heard plenty of salt about trivially easy to score battle tactics. They’re obviously one of the main vectors a book can become unbalanced along. And it’s pretty clear to see DoT are going to have an incredibly easy time of scoring 3-4 of their book tactics every game. Given I think the army plays the mission very well anyway, yeah I’m going to agree with your implication Patrick, these are over-tuned and almost impossible for your opponent to deny in most match ups.

Should we move onto the warscrolls? Who do you think are the biggest winners?

These guys hit hard now.

Patrick: The changes to Arcane Tome for the Fateskimmer and Fluxmaster are great. The security provided by a reroll alone is excellent, but adding 3 to the value of the second attempt makes most spells a guaranteed cast. The Blue ascribe is also an insanely flexible caster, and I expect we will see him used in most lists. The gaunt summoners created some rumblings over their new Lords of the Silver Towers ability, potentially one-shotting an enemy hero. The summoner has to survive the initial attacks to use the ability, however, and if an opponent can’t kill a Gaunt Summoner in one round then they deserve what’s coming.

I think Tzaangors Skyfires are going to show up a good bit, too. Their speed and flying makes them an excellent harassing unit, and the ability to ignore hit/wound penalties with their bows means they might pose a threat to more targets. Special shout out to Kairos Acolytes. I wouldn’t describe them as good, but Arcane Cataclysm made them pretty bad. The Battletome corrects all the changes, and leaves them pretty much identical to their 2e profile.

Danny: Agreed, Skyfires doing d3 mws on 6s combos nicely with Fate Dice, and I think a unit of 6 will be common given how reliably they can snipe off support heroes at range – their movement and relative durability make them excellent objective grabbers too. I think it’s fair to say everything that was already good, stayed good – including Screamers, even if they lost their extra damage to wizards, at 100 points and with their newly reliable combat profile, they’re fantastic value. In general, things got more consistent – especially flamers.

For me, the losers are Tzangors, on foot and Enlightened. I just don’t really get what they do now, aside from look pretty. I also nominate a fair few heroes – Curseling, the Ogroids, Tzaangor Shaman especially – as being highly uninteresting now. But overall, there are some serious buff bots here with plenty of fun and powerful rules. Be prepared to have many of your models turn into spawn…

Ok let’s wrap this up. I wanted to hold back my reaction to your competitive rating until now – and I think I agree. Some folks are bemoaning what the book has lost, but overall I think it contains board control (horrors, Sigil, fast cheap grabbers), extremely powerful magic, and A+/S tier matched play rules.

Weaknesses will be fast, aggressive armies and powerful shooting that can shut down their casting momentum. I predict it’ll take some time to bed in, but then we’ll absolutely see it taking down podiums but not reaching the heights of Nurgle, Seraphon or SCE – certainly not this season anyway.

Patrick: I completely agree. I expect that they will break the 55% win rate barrier. There are a handful of rules that they lost, but I think what they gained more than makes up for it. The only real complaint I have comes from me being an opponent rather than a player, but I don’t want to restate what I’ve already said. Overall, this is a great tome, and I think Tzeentch players have a lot to love.

And there you have it! Bird fans – agree, disagree, just want to talk about how good big birds are? Let us know in the comments, twitter or discord! We’d also love to know what you think of this review format. Don’t be shy now.



Kill Team: Why You Should Play

It has been a year since Kill Team 2021 ended my long hiatus from miniature related hobbies and got me painting and playing again. I’d love to introduce some more people to it.

Small but perfectly formed

Kill Team is an excellently sized game, and “size” is doing a lot of work in this sentence.

One box is all two players need

Kill Team: Into the Dark

Everything you need to play can be found in a starter box for £65 RRP (although it would benefit from more terrain) or a bigger season starter box (Into The Dark goes up for preorder on Saturday when we’ll find out pricing). Games don’t grow any bigger. You can swap out terrain, Kill Teams, and scenarios but there’s no pressure (or possibility without house rules) to have bigger armies.

It doesn’t take up much space

The game plays on a 30″ by 22.4″ board. I can have some friends round and have two games running on my dining table while a third goes ahead on my coffee table. It’s great for the space constrained and people wanting to run mini-tournaments at home.

It is fast

Once you know what you are doing, a game takes about an hour. It’s easy to arrange an evening with time for dinner, a chat, a game of Kill Team, and still be in bed at a reasonable time to get up to go to work the next day.

It’s engaging

Each player activates a small number (usually just one) of models at a time. It gives a fast, fun back and forth where the decision about which figure should take their turn next really matters.

Terrain is essential

KT2021 emphasises terrain. Cover can grant bonuses to saves or make a model impossible to target. Height advantages can eliminate that bonus or grant an automatic hit. Terrain features can be given narrative elements such as smoke stacks that provide a cloud of obscuring darkness… until they are turned off. The battlefield feels alive.

The terrain in the big box releases is great too. Some of it is brand new sprues, others are re-releases, but it is varied, looks great, and is fun to paint.

It has real tactical depth

As with the current edition of Warhammer 40,000, to win the game you need to focus on objectives. The interaction with alternating activations means that careful prioritisation of targets is vital. Do you activate your injured Sergeant to claim Objective 3 and run into cover, or lead with your Sniper to try to eliminate the enemy Comms Boy before he can claim Objective 5?

An injection of fun

Kill Team has been the most fun I can remember having wargaming, it’s got me back in the hobby and painting more than I ever have before. Maybe you’ll enjoy it just as much.

Kill Team: Shopping To Get Started

In the past year we’ve seen the release of a new edition of Kill Team. In that time we have had four big box products and the roadmap for the next year shows Games Workshop have no intention of slowing down.

With the release of Kill Team: Into the Dark imminent, now is a great time to consider getting into the game if you haven’t already. With the plethora of products GW is selling it can be a little tricky to work out what you need.

Kill Team: Into the Dark

I’m going to break down the options for you with a focus on official releases but with a couple of side steps into third-party options.

You need:

  • Miniatures
  • Terrain (including six barricades for a two player game)
  • Tokens
  • Dice
  • Measuring tools
  • The core rules for the game
  • The rules for the scenario you are running and for your kill team.

(Spoiler: Everything you need to get started is in the Kill Team: Into the Dark box but read on if you want some nuance).

You’ll also need a couple of things that GW won’t sell you.

  • Space for a 30″ x 22.4″ board
  • An opponent

The release pipeline

Big Boxes

Kill Team: Octarius

Each quarter GW starts selling a big box release with the summer box being the season starter. In 2021 that was Kill Team: Octarius (out of production). In 2022 it is Kill Team: Into the Dark. Preorders open on Saturday 3rd September.

The season starter boxes contain:

  • Miniatures for two Kill Teams
  • Terrain (including six barricades and a double sized cardboard board)
  • Combat gauges
  • Tokens
  • Dice
  • Tac Ops Cards
  • The core rulebook
  • The Kill Zone book (with rules for the two Kill Teams, the scenarios for the terrain, and the usual background and fiction you expect from a GW rulebook)

The other three quarters are slightly smaller in scope containing only:

  • Miniatures for two Kill Teams
  • Terrain (no barricades)
  • The Kill Zone book (with rules for the two Kill Teams, the scenarios for the terrain, and the usual background and fiction you expect from a GW rulebook)

Separate releases

With the release of each new big box, the previous box is phased out and the contents sold separately. This isn’t as good value if you collect everything, but does let you pick and choose if you don’t want all of a big box.

Some Kill Teams have more options for specialists than you can construct with the models in the box. Picking up a box with just the infantry miniatures to bulk out your list building choices is an option.

Generally the smaller releases are:

  • Miniatures for one Kill Team
  • The Kill Zone book with rules for two Kill Teams, terrain for a Kill Zone, and some background/fiction
  • Terrain (in various combinations)
Dark Eldar Kill Team

After the Kill Team: Octarius box we also saw

  • The core rules
  • A starter set with the same contents as Kill Team: Octarius but with smaller (and slightly cut down) books and without the larger terrain pieces or cards.
  • Killzone Essentials (with tokens, combat gauges, and six barricades).
  • Tac Ops Cards

Other releases

At the same time as Kill Team: Octarius GW brought out the Kill Team: Compendium. This book contains rules for constructing Kill Teams for every faction in Warhammer 40,000. If you have an existing army and want to use your existing miniatures instead of buying new ones, then this book is worth your consideration. Do note that Kill Team uses a small number of infantry, the Compendium doesn’t come with rules for every model in every faction.

There are a couple of pros and cons though. In favour of the Compendium teams, they are generally quite simple. You tend to end up with three or four model profiles so they are good for learning the game. They are also considered to be quite weak compared to the bespoke Kill Teams. The general consensus is that they should be considered placeholder teams before bespoke ones are released.

A couple of weeks ago, Warhammer Community released two free PDFs containing The Lite Rules and the rules for the Intercession Squad Kill Team. The latter has the simplicity of a compendium team, but is considered to be one of the more powerful lists in the game.

Up for preorder at the same time as Kill Team: Into The Dark are two more standalone Kill Teams and a book.

The Elucidian Starstriders and Gellerpox Infected were designed for the previous edition of Kill Team and now get their own separate releases. Kill Team Annual 2022 contains updated rules for them along with all the Kill Team rules that have been published in White Dwarf over the last year (covering factions such as the Thousand Sons and Adeptus Mechanicus along with additional terrain rules and scenarios).

Third Party Content

A few honourable mentions go to:

A Games Workshop miniatures game wouldn’t be what it is without some third party content providing some quality of life improvements.

BattleScribe — https://www.battlescribe.net — which provides list building tools for a huge number of miniature games, Kill Team among them.

KT 2021 Datacards — https://datacard.app/ — which takes the BattleScribe roster file and turns it into attractively formatted cards for use at the table.

Kill Team Token Sets by various third parties (many of which can be found on Etsy) in nice acrylic are a sturdy and attractive replacement for the cardboard ones GW sell.

So what should I buy?

To get the rules, tokens, combat gauges, and barricades (pick one):

  • One of the season starter boxes (Kill Team: Octarius or Kill Team: Into the Dark)
  • The Kill Team Starter Set
  • The Kill Team Core Book + Killzone Essentials
  • The free Lite rules PDF + Killzone Essentials

To get a Kill Team and their rules (pick one)

  • One of the big box releases (season start or otherwise)
  • The Kill Team Starter Set
  • A Kill Team miniatures box + the matching Kill Zone or Kill Team Annual book for them
  • Miniatures released for 40k + The Kill Team Annual, Kill Team Compendium, or Intercession Squad PDF that has a list for them

To get terrain (pick one):

  • One of the big box releases (season start or otherwise)
  • The Kill Team Starter Set (although you might want to supplement the terrain that come with it)
  • A Kill Zone book + matching terrain assembled from various releases
  • Whatever you cobble together

My recommendation is to pick up Kill Team: Into the Dark or, if your budget is a bit tight for it, The Kill Team Starter Set.

If you like the game, pick your favourite faction and get what you need to run a kill team for them as your second purchase.

Here’s to more people enjoying this great game.

Vanguard: Nighthaunt – Is it Worth it?

Nighthaunt: Vanguard – First Impressions Review

On the weekend Games Workshop finally announced new Vanguard sets, 3 in total, Skaven, Daughters of Khaine and Nighthaunt. Ahead of the weekend pre-orders, we at Woehammer thought reviewing it would be a good idea and spent some time deciding if it offered a good way to begin a Nighthaunt army.

What’s in the box?

SlotUnit
LeaderKnight of Shrouds
Battleline20 x Chainrasps
Battleline10 x Grimghast Reapers
Battleline3 x Spirit Hosts
Vanguard: Nighthaunt

34 Miniatures with one small Hero (HQ), and 33 melee troops all of which are battleline coming to a total of 645 points.

Purchased individually these models would be AUD$320 without discount, and all indications are that it will be priced at AUD$190, which makes it great value.

SetGBP £USD $EUR €AUD $
Knight of Shrouds£21$35€27$55
Chainrasps£52$84€68$140
Grimghast Reapers£30$50€40$77
Spirit Hosts£18$32€23$48
Total£121$201€158$320
Vanguard: Nighthaunt£80$130€105$190

This set has the battlelines to meet requirements for 750, 1000 or 2000 point games (not recommended) and best of all you could buy multiple copies. Except for the Knight of Shrouds these are staple units you would see in many competitive lists.

With the Chainrasps to act as anvil and the Grimghast to provide the hammer the 2 work well together and also compliment the Knight of Shrouds ability to allow sequential activation. Combined with Nighthaunt’s allegiance ability to fall back and charge every turn it’s very easy to supercharge the Grimghast with a 3rd attack creating a serious threat.

The Spirit Host offer good value through their number of attacks, 6s autowound for Nighthaunt giving 3 autowounds per attack on average. They also serve as a bodyguard granting a hero within 3” a 3+ ward with the Spirit Hosts taking the damage. This is essential if you are going to use the Knight of Shrouds ability

The choice of hero for the box is the biggest issue. The Knight of Shrouds abilities don’t really work well with the other units, his warscroll includes free Redeploy and Unleash Hell. For an army with almost no ranged damage. Nighthaunt live and die with their wizards and the Guardian of Souls would have been a better choice. His mounted brother, the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, is superior; granting an All out Attack for free. Compared to the Grey Seer included in the Vanguard:Skaven set it seems like a weaker choice.

Other criticism are minor, the units are more old school Nighthaunt and really only work well in 2 processions (Sub factions) – Emerald Host and Grieving Legion. Bladegheist Revenants would have had more options than the Grimghast. None of the new scuplts (Craventhrone Guard, Scriptor Mortis or Awlach the Drowner) are included and as a direct match up, it is weaker than the other Vanguard boxes released on the same schedule. That said this box is more of an option for multiple copies than the other 2 (although 2 Warpfire Cannons might not be terrible).

Overall this is a solid basis for a Nighthaunt Army. All it needs is your choice of heroes and it’s time to assert Nagash’s claim to the realm.

Age of Sigmar – Daughters of Khaine Battletome Review

Many players have asked, ‘why Daughters of Khaine, and why now?’ – and who knows! Especially given not much has changed.

Daughters of Khaine (DoK) are an army of slithering and/or bikini clad glass hammers – ruled over by everyone’s favourite double-act, Morathi and The Shadow Queen. DoK enjoyed a period of dominance, largely thanks to their patented ‘Morathi and the Bow Snakes’ list, predicated on double-shooting 15 bows, with mortals on 6s – earning approving nods from Longstrikes.

For at least the latter half of 3e however, they’ve been hanging on in there but rarely wrapping their tails around that trophy. The question is, how can they be made more reliably competitive, while radically improving their internal balance, with a relatively small unit roster and while following the 3e tradition of clamping down on re-rolls, something they relied heavily upon?

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A quick proviso, I’m not going to bother comparing what has and hasn’t changed the entire way through –  but most of the Traits, and Artifacts have, even if they kept the same name. So if you’re a returning player familiar with the old book, I encourage you to read on – I’ll call out when a unit is largely the same!

Read on to get the WOOT! (Woehammer opinion of Tome!)

Let’s start with a high level hypothesis, so that the rest of this review is contextualised. Overall, I think the new book is a slight diagonal-grade. I think DoK have the tools to podium again, without being broken, with better (but still not perfect) internal balance. There are however, some missed opportunities and some ever so slightly concerning trends.

Old DoK players who were happy with where things stood will have a good time with this. It should be pretty accessible for new players too. But I also think it’s launching into a fairly hostile meta. All that said, let’s dive in.

BATTLE TRAITS

Overall, the new and improved battle traits fit the bill – they allow you to slither or dance quickly into a good krump, even if they don’t set the world on fire creatively.

Blood Rites is the same idea, but without re-rolls as per the 3rd edition crack down. The following battle traits are all clearly aimed at combining with it, and there are plenty of options throughout the book to accelerate it. And I mean, it works. It’s functional. I feel like +1s to stuff is a nice way to not rely so much on CP, but it’s also just basic – and there are plenty of armies whose main battle traits are highly effective from battle round 1 or 2, so I don’t love the philosophy of playing around the timing of it, or leaning into various combos just so that it IS effective from turn 1 – but on the other hand, it does give you some flexibility with how the trigger-timings of your list.

Battle Fury is a heroic action that a non-monster can carry out, adding 2 attacks to all melee weapons used by that hero until the end of the turn. More attacks the better, and there are some heroes that benefit a lot from this – you’ll just have to time it right with Finest Hour, but it’s a good option to have in a pinch.

All-Out Slaughter triggers when you pick a unit to fight in the combat phase, and gives them exploding 6s. Does what it says on the tin, and obviously once you’re onto Rite 3 (+1 to hit) you don’t need All Out Attack anyway. Pop this on Morathi, a reinforced blob of Blood Sisters of Aelves and watch the sparks fly.

Fanatical Faith is a ward of 6. Better than nothing (just).

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ENHANCEMENTS

COMMAND TRAITS

The command traits in this book are collectively one of the highlights, with a few things that allow you to really juice a favourite hero and affect the battle in meaningful ways. Most of them, however, we’ve seen before – and I do wish armies would get some more unique traits overall.

I’ve ordered these in order of my favourites first.

Zealous Orator rallies on a 4+. That’s big. Ardboyz have it conditionally, Fyreslayers got it, and now DoK have it – a 15 blob of bow sneks? A 30 blob of Aelves? Prime, prime targets.

Fuelled by Revenge allows Melusai Ironscale a once per battle, +1 attack to Melusai melee weapons within 12″ – not hard to guess the application of.

Sacrificial Overseer lets a general fight again, after killing a model, and after the unit it’s engaged with has fought back. Useful on smaller heroes you’ve chucked into chaff for finishing off a unit, or on a (well, the only) bigger one to go much harder into tougher targets.

Arcane Mastery teaches the general all the Lore. It’s a great lore – even though DoK lack great casters. It gives you flexibility though, which is powerful.

Bathed in Blood gives a general a wound back after killing a model – too niche for my tastes but it makes that ‘one big hero’ (have you guessed it yet?) potentially a lot tankier.

Master of Poisons procs on a wound allocated to a model – and does d6 additional mortals to it. Fits the name, but swingy, and therefore sub-par.

True Believer is +1 to Rites. Fairly useless on most heroes really. I guess if you really want to get a hero repeatedly stuck in, it could be useful, just seems to me all the above alternatives either have more utility or raw strength. Prove me wrong though!

ARTEFACTS

Artefacts can potentially change a hero’s role, help spike their output, or otherwise combo interestingly with a Trait, or otherwise. In theory. Unfortunately for DoK, theirs are boring, if relatively useful.

This time in no particular order, because I wasn’t enthused enough to pick a favourite.

DoK generic heroes

When Bloodbane Venom causes a wound that doesn’t kill a model, a roll of =/+ the model’s Wounds Characteristic kills it. Vaguely useful against heavily armoured but low-ish wound stuff like Annihilators, or getting luck against a Blightking I guess.

The Crone Blade gives one weapon the ability to heal 1 wound on a hit roll of 6. At this point, I’m just going to say it – most DoK heroes aren’t going to stick around long if they don’t immediately kill whatever they’re fighting, so gaining a few wounds here and there back feels niche. Apart from… the the one big hero – the Cauldron!

Slightly more interesting is the Crown of Woe, which prevents Rally or Inspiring Presence within 9″, or 15″ for rest of the battle once the hero kills a model. Potentially devastating AND, finally, something that can work without chucking the bearer into combat.

Rune of Khaine is a ‘fight on death’ effect. Great…so long as you die in melee.

DoK wizards

The Crystal Heart doubles the range an endless spell can be cast at. If the DoK endless spells were better, this would be great. But they aren’t, so it’s not. Because James Workchap largely refuses to make one of the coolest things about AoS reliably usable. But hey if you really want to pop that Viper up in someone’s face, here’s how you do it.

Aside from sounding like a long-fringed metalcore band, Sevenfold Shadows allows a once per battle teleport. Useful if you’re not playing Khailebron, while Shadow Stone is +1 to cast Lore of Shadows spells. Useful, but uninspired.

Priests

Priests are hugely important to DoK. So it stands to reason they only get a choice of two unique artefacts. The Blood Sigil learns ya an extra prayer. The prayers are good! Whereas the Khainite Pendant is a once per game auto-answer. DoK have a lot of pendants, sigils, stones and assorted gew-gaws knocking around, huh?

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PRAYERS

So about those prayers I mentioned. These are mostly unchanged, which makes sense because by and large, they’re bangers – less ‘prayers’ and more ‘blood-curdling celebrations of gore’, but hey. I think with the new internal balance, there’s a little less a reliance on certain prayer combos, but they’re still at the heart of the army.

Catechism of Murder is the exploding 6s prayer you know and love.

EDIT/CORRECTION: Blessing of Khaine is currently in need of a bit of an FAQ – well, hopefully, otherwise it’s not great. The problem is, it currently reads ‘re-roll Fanatical Faith rolls’, i.e. your Ward of 6. But does Rite 5 IMPROVE your Fanatical Faith ward? Not currently as written. So does Blessing aim to re-roll your Ward save, just your Fanatical Faith roll, and/or does Rite 5 IMPROVE the ward or simply GIVE you a ward of 5. Grrrr.

Martyr’s Sacrifice gives each model in a unit the ability to do a MW on a 5+ upon dying in melee. Useful in a big blob of double-reinforced Aelves, if you really plan on them dying rather than killing… Crimson Rejuvenation heals d3 – big woop. Covenant of the Iron Heart auto-passes battleshock for when you really don’t want to save a CP for it – very handy in actuality if you’re leaning into the bikini-horde which this book definitely makes viable. And finally Sacrament of Blood gives +1 to the Rites table to a unit with an Answer of 3 – strong, for obvious reasons.

LORE

The spells are unchanged, rightfully so – this is a highlight of the faction – everything has a distinct use, and affects the game in a meaningful way. See, they know how to do it!

Steed of Shadows goes off on a 6 and makes the caster fly and move 16″. Pit of Shades pops on a 6, range 18″, picks an enemy unit and rolls 2d6 – difference between the roll and their move characteristic does mortals. Mirror Dance dings on a 6, 18″, picks 2 DoK heroes outside of engagement range and swaps them. The Withering procs on a 7, 18″, puts +1 to wound rolls on an enemy unit. Any attacks! This is stronk as it can improve Bow sneks, or allow multiple units to pile in and take down something juicy while you wait for the Blood Rites to catch up. Mindrazor – everyone’s favourite – dings on an 8 (so, risky with not many casting bonuses), 18″, gives a friendly unit +1 rend and additionally, +1 damage to melee weapons if you charged. Finally, Shroud of Despair gets jiggy on a 4 at 18″ and subtracts 1 from a unit’s bravery or d3 on a cast of 8+.  This could combo very nicely with Crown of Woe for battleshock shenanigans!

A lovely set of spells and I wish that kind of balance was present in some of the other sections.

SUB FACTIONS

Some fairly chunky changes here. Overall, a decent balance of competitive options with a few of your typical ‘what were they thinking’ moments thrown in just to temper your enthusiasm. As a general trend, sub-factions are pretty interesting in 3rd edition – and while none of these are bad per se, there are a few here that feel very uninspired.

Khailebron gives you access to a command at the end of movement phase and allows a unit to teleport. Teleportation is frankly super useful in a game of objectives – both defensively, offensively and for objective play. Want to deploy your bow sneks way back and teleport them up into range? Get something within charge range (preferably once the +1 charge Rite has kicked in)? Quickly screen something or help score Savage Spearhead, etc, all potential scoring applications. It also makes Shadowstalkers battleline, although why you’d want to take more than 1 unit of them is beyond me (you’ll see why)

The Kraith allows a Sisters of Slaughter (who are good now) unit to fight again on a 4+, with the strike-last effect applied, so they can’t fight twice in a row. Swingy, sure, but if you’re leaning into bikinki-aelves and running multiple squads of them AND charging multiple times, you could get a lot of value from this. But make no mistake – this hugely relies on bigger blobs of them, otherwise you’re not going to have a unit left after the enemy unit slaps back.

Zainthar Kai lets a Melusai unit fight on death. What, you want me to analyse that? Obviously it makes Melusai battleline too.

Hagg Nar adds 1 to the Rites chart. Simples! It also lets you include 1 Cauldron of Blood in addition to your behemoth limit, for some reason.

Draichi Ganeth improves the rend of both flavours of bikini aelf by 1 if they charged. Stack that with a Gladiatrix and Mind Razor and they can hit rend 3 – which is frankly brutal. This sub-fac also ups the reinforcement cap of Aelves by 2 (so you can include an additional reinforced or double reinforced unit) and your (power?) fantasies about flooding the table with murderous, lethal Morathi’s Secret models can finally come true. 

Khelt Nar (don’t exactly roll off the tongue some of these do they?) allows any unit to retreat and charge. Not my favourite but frankly, this is occasionally going to be clutch, especially against tar-pit armies or unfavourable engagements. It definitely has play even if it doesn’t jump off the page at you.

THE UNITS

There’s obviously the potential here to get really into the weeds. So instead of describing every part of every warscroll, i’m going to pull out the most interesting bits.

THE SHADOW QUEEN is more or less unchanged. She slaps, and her damage table got upgraded to 6 being the first threshold. If you didn’t know, her gimmick is you can only do 3 wounds to her MAX per turn – but she can’t heal. Interestingly, you could probably compete without her now, but I’m not sure i would trust anyone who left her at home.

Most of the on-foot heroes remain very similar. But they all have a little more utility because of the other changes. I think Melusai Ironscale risks getting  edged out since you don’t need her to make Sisters battleline. Her melee damage cap is 12 – not great with only Rend 1. The reason you take her is her command ability – to let a Melusai unit run and charge/shoot – and at 115 points, she’s takeable.

Morgwaeth finally got the true Underworlds treatment and got made redundant.

Shall we talk about the One Big Hero? The Shrine – and its various combinations. It got a LOT better. Try and bear in mind those past hints I made – you’ll see the synergies on offer here.

Firstly, the configurations are as before – the Cauldron ridden by the Bloodwrack Medusa on her own, or with one of either the Hag Queen or Slaughter Queen and the Avatar riding shotgun with either Queen. It’s a fun modular approach you don’t really see elsewhere – each hero retains the same abilities on foot, but on the Cauldron become way more durable and and therefore much better platforms for many of the above enhancements – overall I’d say the book pushes hard for you to take some version of what I’m now calling the Bloodwagon. The wagon’s base abilities are +1 to chanting (huge), an impact hit (standard 2+ for d3) and Bloodshield, a +1 save aura tied to the damage table, and starting at 18″.

Personally, I think the Slaughter Queen variant is the spiciest. This combo gains the Pact of Blood ability not found elsewhere, which is an unbind attempt. The Slaughter Queen herself brings two abilities to the table…well, cauldron – Orgy of Slaughter, a her phase CA with a 3″ range that allows a unit to fight.

Yep, this thing can fight in the hero phase. Is it any good at fighting? The mounted Avatar (who retains these same stats on foot as above) swings 4 times for 3/3/-2/3 – a good start. The Slaughter Queen brings 4 attacks at 3/3/-1/d3, and it’s topped off by the attendant aelves with 8 (bracketing) 3/4/-/1. Individually, none of that sets the world on fire, but it adds up – and at 13 wounds, albeit on a 5+ save, you actually have the ability to tank a round of attacks from plenty of stuff, meaning the fight-in-hero-phase ability will actually see play, and if it helps you finish something off, being able to then reposition defensively or set up for another charge is potentially huge.

So pop Bathed In Blood on it and so long as you’re fighting units rather than single/very small elite units, you could easily get a bunch of wounds back, in up to two phases per (your) turn. Sacrificial Overseer suddenly seems great – imagine finishing off a unit in your hero phase, charging two units at the same time, then getting to fight twice in the following combat. Crone Blade and Rune of Khaine could be brutal on this platform. Exactly how you pimp your ride is up to you but there are definitely some fun options here.

But I saved the best for last. The Slaughter Queen’s second ability, Dance of Doom, answers on a 3 (2 while on the blood wagon) and applies strike-first. Now we rollin’!!

The Hag Queen instead has Witchbrew, another source of +1 to Rites, and Touch of Death, a 3 answer prayer for d3 wounds to a unit within engagement range. Unless you’re really playing to Blood Rites acceleration combos, you can see why I prefer the Slaughter Queen – even though she’s 315 compared to Hag Wagon’s 270.

The Bloodwrack Medusa is your budget wagon pick at 200, or 130 on her own – a 1 cast, 2 unbind hero whose real value is a source of +1 Rites for Melusai and a nice spell (5 – 18″) for minus 1 to melee wounds for an enemy unit. She buff, she debuff, she whiffs in melee. However, her Bloodwrack stare – mortals on a 5+ for each model in a unit within 12″ has much more play on a durable platform as incidental chip damage given you want the Wagon up close and personal.

When he’s not riding the Blood Wagon screaming ‘I’m King of the wooorld!’, the Avatar of Khaine got way better. 10″ range, 6 attacks 3/3/-1/1 ain’t nothing (obvs applies to Wagon variants) and his aforementioned sword are perfectly fine, and with 9 wounds on a 4+ he’s one of your tankier options. What he gains for going solo is a built in Ward of 5 and Wrath of Khaine, allowing him to use the Stomp or Smash to Rubble Monstrous actions, while being immune to monstrous actions himself. At 155, that makes him a cheap Totem, with good utility who can still put a dent in things.

The rest of the book is more straight forward. Gladiatrix is a straight up Aelf buff piece – she adds rend, and changes their wound characteristic to 3+. Very strong. Witch Aelves rip and tear when buffed by her, and various aforementioned other buffs – and get +1 to wound while within 12″ of a totem. Sisters of Slaughter are less killy but are eligible to fight within 6″ and can pile in 6″ – this is not to be underestimated, as with careful positioning this can avoid unleash hell or just cause headaches for your opponent wanting to stay out of melee.

Khainite Shadowstalkers lost their -1 to hit, so become a lot less interesting. 9 bodies on a 4+ that can teleport – so 1 unit is probably fine for screening/scoring, and I guess it’s cute that in Khailebron you can run a shadow themed list.

Doomfires do a bit of everything, but nothing very well. Interestingly, while at 5+ models, they’re one of the army’s only source of +1 to casting/unbinding, making them potentially interesting for getting off early Mindrazor etc before zooming off to die. CORRECTION: A kind reader pointed out – correctly – that only heroes can take spells from the Lore! So this lowers Doomfires stock a little given their warscroll spell (scaling mortals based on size of enemy unit) is short range and will be tricky to get off while keeping them safe – but it does mean they still get a bonus to getting an endless spell off turn 1.

Blood Stalkers are unchanged, which means they’re still amazing given Shadow Queen kept her double shoot. Even though this is good for those of us who have 15 of ’em, It’s a worrying precedent – double shooting is not a popular mechanic, and for good reason. I’d have preferred to see that dropped in favour of a more interesting and tactical rule – standing still and raining hell from 24″ twice is uninteractive and bad for the game.

Blood Sisters however just became one of the best infantry units in the game, because Turned to Crystal now happens after their attacks have resolved. So, reinforce them, throw out 3 attacks each at 3/3/-1/1, add in Rites and buffs to taste, and whatever is left standing immediately takes 10 mws on a 2+. So that’s 8-9 MWs on average before everything else, before the unit gets to slap back. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

Both flavours of Khinerai got better. Heartrenders can drop from the sky, shoot (1 attack 3/3/-1/1) then move 6″. This gives them all sorts of positional utility and scoring potential. LIfetakers are less tactical but get a bonus attack and are 3/3/-1/1 in melee – plus, after they fight, on a 4+ they can retreat 6″. Swingy, but if it goes off this could be a massively frustrating hit’n’run tactic – worth trying for the look on your opponents face.

Now, I’m always gonna bang the ‘Endless spells should be great – or as good as they are now, but dirt-cheap’ drum. Given they’re usually easy to dispel – sure, your opponent has to use up a cast slot to do it – and cost valuable points when you might even fail to cast them – people gravitate only towards the absolute best ones, which are generic – like life-swarm and spell-portal. Faction specific ones usually look great and COULD offer a tonne of personality.

Bloodwrack Viper comes up on a 7 within 9″, then picks a unit within 1″ after it flies 9″ and rolls 3 dice – each =/+ wounds characteristic kills a model and it can also ‘do an Avatar’, i.e. make a Stomp or Smash to Rubble monstrous action.

Hang on – is the Viper actually good?! Casting on a 7 isn’t too bad, a 19″ threat range – but 80 points is dear. If it was 60, I’d say hell yeah!

The others actually aren’t that bad but you probably still won’t take them at a high level. Bladewind passes across units and does 1 MW on a 2+ and removes their cover modifiers within 12″. So niche, and hard to see when you’d cast this for 50 points over anything else in the great Lore. Heart of Fury (an invocation not a spell) makes you roll – on a 1-5, -1 damage within 12″ – potentially useful for the odd occasion you really want to charge something and think you might not kill it. On a 6, you also get +1 attack in the same range. If you have a spare 45 points, that’s not a bad shout potentially!

GRAND STRATEGIES & BATTLE TACTICS

I’ve left these for the end because it actually makes more sense to think about them once you know what the stuff can actually do. Overall, these are probably more viable than average, which is great.

For Grand Strats, you got Bloodthirsty Zealots which scores if all your units have fought at least once. This shouldn’t be hard – as long as you time it right with your weaker stuff. Say you have 15 Bow sneks – make sure you push them up throughout the game so you can charge them into something if necessary near the end-game before you table them – or the game ends. What’s nice about this is it’s VERY hard for your opponent to deny, and you can score it even more reliably when the game isn’t going your way!

Blood Bath however is a weak variation on that theme, requiring every enemy unit to have at least a scratch on it – i.e. not be at full health.

EDIT: On re-reading this, the wording is actually ‘all enemy HEROES and MONSTERS either have at least 1 wound allocated to them or have been slain and if all other enemy units on the battlefield have had at least 1 model slain.’

Overall, I don’t think it changes my analysis below, but it’s a tiiiny bit harder.

It’s not too bad, and means you don’t have to plan for your archers to be in melee somehow – but say a unit or hero is able to reliably hide in a corner or heal up in the last turn – could suddenly deny you. Overall, Grand Strats that are in your hands, so to speak, are quite good – and given DoK battleline units aren’t tanky and most everything else wants to be aggressive, I think these actually do compete with the Core options.

Naught but Destruction is your token ‘what the fuck were they smoking’ GS – you pick a defensible terrain piece in enemy territory, and if there isn’t one, the opponent picks one anywhere on the battlefield. Now you gotta demolish it. I mean – sure, the Viper or Avatar can smash to rubble, but what happens if there IS no defensible terrain? Every game should have it but…that’s just a ‘should’. Unless this is a hint the new GHB will mandate every game has to include some, this is a very strange one.

The Battle Tacs are actually fun, and continue the trend of really only 1-2 being doable by any one list – which isn’t a bad thing. Clash of Arms wants you to charge with 3 units and if two of ’em are bikini Aelves you get an additional victory point. Fine in a pinch, potentially great in Aelf spam lists given they will probably churn through Broken Ranks fairly quickly.

Tide of Blades is Savage Spearhead, but bonus point for doing it with two Witch Aelves units. Again, with Shadowstalkers, Khinerai and aggressive play in general, this become highly achievable.

Cruel Delight relies on 2 or more Khinerai units using their Fire and Flight or Fight and Flight ability – very doable and you’d certainly be within your rights to have 2 Khinerai units now. While Unexpected Attack wants Khainite Shadowstalkers to charge after deep-striking. Even with +1, the odds of a re-rollable 8 incher are far too low to ever pick this unless it’s an absolute last resort or you’ve gone full Khailebron and are popping 3 ‘Stalkers down in the same turn. Incredibly niche and risky.

On the more situation end of the spectrum we have Executioner’s Cult – which can be picked if you have a Gladiatrix – which well you might! She has to kill a hero with her Killing Stroke ability – this would be a flex to pull off – and certainly doable – but it would be so easy to either accidentally kill the hero beforehand or just…not. Why risk it? Baffling and risky specificity on this one.

Hatred of Chaos is available if you’re running Hagg Nar or Khelt Nar and asks for 2 or more CHAOS units to be destroyed this turn. Highly situational, but not necessarily difficult, so it’s a perfectly nice option to have in your pocket, especially given they’re both perfectly viable sub-factions. And Chaos suck. And everyone plays Nurgle now – so this might come up more often than you think…

BATTALIONS

3e books have been circumspect with Battalions as they have the potential to tip the balance massively. Take Nurgle’s rotbringers cyst for an example that is almost certainly too good. On the whole, I’m happy with Battalions being fluffy or just matching the core battalion effects when you have a more unusual army make up – and that’s more or less what’s on offer here.

Vyperic Guard comprises Morathi+Shadow Queen, 1-3 Khainite Leaders – 1 mandatory (Bloodwrack or Ironscale), and ~6 Melusai warriors – 2 mandatory, and offers an extra enhancement – so it’s basically a bonus/tweaked Command Entourage. Not bad!

Shadow Patrol however is the fluffy, competitively rubbish one that isn’t worth the ink used to print it. 2 Mandatory Doomfires and FOUR mandatory Khinerai gives you either a one-drop or Swift. I mean…why?

CONCLUSION

Hopefully that gives you a good idea of the fun, competitive and creativity level of the new book. My takeaways are that the internal balance got much better with only a few sore losers (especially Shadowstalkers), the creativity level ticked up a little with some annoying missed opportunities (straight forward albeit useful Command Traits/Artefacts), and the competitive factor ticked up a fair notch. Will the increased options and killing power be enough to deal with the oppressive tankiness of Nurgle, or the strike-first brutality of new IDK (who seem a particularly brutal counter to DoK at first glance) or the forthcoming mobility, the ‘I laugh in the face of your rend’ and oppressive charging/tar-pitting potential of new Nighthaunt? We’ll soon see – my knee jerk reaction is ‘sometimes’ – which is, honestly, as it should be! Now, go forth and bathe (but don’t drink – leave that to SBGL) in the blood of your foes.

Warlord Games Releases Combined Arms

Combined arms is Warlord Games’ first board game but more importantly for the Bolt Action, Blood Red Skies and Cruel Seas players amongst you, it’s their first campaign supplement as well.

What does that mean? Well you’re able to play Combined Arms as a stand alone game using the pieces in the box to conquer Europe etc. Or you can link games of Blood Red Skies, Bolt action or Cruel Seas together for one large campaign.

Credit Warlord Games

The boxed set is priced at a very reasonable £50 and includes maps, cards and all the tokens you need to wage a complete campaign.

Bolt Action – Combined Arms is a strategic board game that commands the players to face off, seize the initiative and outwit their foe amidst the fog of war. Each game will see you fighting for control of air, land, and sea in order to claim objectives and hold them against the enemy.

Choose your theatre of war, from the western and eastern fronts to North Africa and the Pacific. Each theatre has its own challenges and opportunities, some rewarding control over the sea, some rewarding control over the skies. How many of your precious resources will you sink into each, and how much will be left to control the land? Will you rely on stealth as you move units secretly, springing up where you are least suspected, or will you attempt to overwhelm your enemy with brutal overkill?

Combined Arms can be played as a stand-alone game or players can incorporate Bolt Action, Blood Red Skies, Cruel Seas, or Victory at Sea for an epic continent-spanning campaign. Unique cards link your campaign with your chosen wargames, meaning your choices in the campaign could mean victory or defeat on the tabletop.

Combined Arms is available for Pre-order and will be shipped to customers in May.