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Tome Talks: Seraphon

Welcome to the latest in our ‘Tome Talks’ series, in which we review a battletome via a balanced discussion – and with the benefit of a little hindsight and some hands-on testing.

Danny Wadeson: So – we’ve had the book for a while, but now seems a good time to judge it properly now that the new Season is underway and recent changes to things like coherence have allowed a lot of Seraphon units to really shine.

As we’ll be keeping this relatively high level, let’s start with the overall standouts. What, to you, are the things that make Seraphon, Seraphon – and where does this book really sing? Sell it to me!

Patrick German: I think to really look at Seraphon you can either dig into a few units, or look at the book as a whole. Seraphon have always been a flexible force, jumping between elite infantry and cavalry, huge monsters, and powerful wizards. I can say for sure that all of these still exist, but I’ve seen a lot more “magic castles” than anything else.

Lord Kroak still exists, and is a lynchpin unit for the book. Backing him up with another frogman, some skink wizards, and an Astrolith bearer can turn him from being a sniper and artillery piece into a factory that produces more skinks as it kills units.

I’ve always been a more flavor-over-competitive player, and I love the idea of putting a load of big monsters on the table. Stegadon is still a thing, and while it isn’t the most competitive choice, it’s good fun to throw seven or eight stegadons on the field and have them waddle around killing your opponent’s models is great.

Peter Holland: I think the appeal of Seraphon cannot be ignored. The model range is gorgeous, and really appeals to that 6 year old inside. After all, what 6 year old wouldn’t want an army of Dinosaurs?!

Coupled with that, in this particular GHB, they’re proving they have some tricks up their sleeves to compete at the top tables.

Patrick: I will say: the model range is gorgeous now. I was really happy for Seraphon players when they got so many new sculpts, because the old ones were looking very dated.

Danny: Yeah. They look GOOD. But how do they play? Obviously there are two very different flavours – the ‘magic (bouncy?) castle that Poots mentioned and the more bitey-fighty Coalesced. The former is high on movement and summoning shenanigans and can bring overwhelming amounts of magic to bear while the other has good old fashioned durability and toe to toe offence.

Peter – I think i know the answer but for the benefit of our readers – what do the stats say about which is getting more play and what’s tickling the podium?

Peter: It’s an interesting one. Fangs of Sotek are by far the most popular subfaction with 56% (45 players) of tournament players choosing them. They’re also overly successful with a win rate of 60%. However Dracothion’s Tail currently has the most success with 68% win rate.

While Starborne is seeing success, players who have taken coalesced are struggling.

Koatl’s Claw has had good representation (2nd most popular subfaction), but their win rate is in the doldrums at 38% currently.

I will add that Dracothion’s Tail and Thunder Lizard are very small sample sizes.

Patrick: I’m not surprised that Fangs of Sotek is doing so well. Out-of-phase movement is a very strong tool to have (just ask your friendly local Khorne player). The ability to redeploy three times in response to your opponents movement can set you up for excellent counter-punches or provide cheap screens as a roadblock, preventing a charge onto an objective. The fact that the first two instances of redeploy are free makes it even better.

Danny: They’re fun. Movement shenanigans are fun. It just gives you lots to do in the opponent’s turn too.

I can see why competitively Starborne are the go-tos – hero phase teleport, loads of summoning so that you can react to the board state and the above very strong sub-faction ability, combined with an excellent spell lore are hard to resist.

Let’s not forget the excellent Star Power abilities too, which give you just a wild suite of options. However – even for an experienced player like myself it can be quite draining to keep track of everything – spells, a parallel economy, and LOTS of separate aura ranges etc. And it can all fall apart quickly if a couple of key spells go wrong or the opponent has enough threat projection to get into you before the summoning ramps up.

Having just started trying out Coalesced recently, I’m glad to say that it offers a more chill, but still strong, playstyle. 20 Warriors are a helluva drug, and the added durability makes for a more ‘traditional’ and forgiving game.

On that note, let’s talk about Thunder Lizard – it’s been a wild ride for anyone with big dinos since the end of the last book and the new one – namely it’s much harder to buff them now and their sub-faction rule is totally different, with double monstrous actions which are of dubious utility.

Also, the Engine of the Gods had been…I don’t know how else to say it other than ‘fucked up’. Stegadons still feel ok – the ‘counts as ten’ is great for objective stealing but they feel expensive on the board. The less said about the Stegadon Chief, the better – which is a shame as vanilla Stegs feel like they need a force multiplier. Why? What did they do to my horny boys?

Patrick: Conspiracy says that GW likes to downplay the units that were doing well last edition. Skink Chiefs and EotGs were great, and now they are less great. Personally, I think that in an effort to find better internal balance in battletomes GW tends to try to move the good/bad/ugly more towards the middle. Sometimes they overshoot, though, like I feel they did with Kroak, who I feel is an absolutely steal at 410pts.

Danny: Kroak is probably still a bit too good – but the main thing is, he’s fun now. Varied abilities and less book-keeping, and FINALLY two excellent lores to know all of.

The spells were one of the huge weak points of the 2e book, but now they’re full of fun effects, leaving aside for a moment the whole ‘is it fun casting the same MW Spell 4 times in a row’ – the lores are banging – what are your highlights?

Patrick: Tepok’s Beneficence is a fun dark horse for me. Boosting a cheap screen to make the screen last a little longer can be great. Mystical unforging can have a similar effect as a debuff instead of a buff.

On the skink side, Cosmic Crush can be surprisingly good against durable units, hitting SCE unit, especially. Speed if Huanchi allows for more out-of-phase movement, and we’ve already touched on how good that can be.

Peter: Having done the breakdowns on lists that achieve 4+ wins the most common spells in those lists are:

– Merciless Blizzard (10)
– Hoarfrost (9)
– Speed of Huanchi (8)
– Comet’s Call (8)
– Cosmic Crush (6)
– Drain Magic (4)
– Rupture (4)
– Stellar Tempest (2)
– Tepok’s Beneficence (1)

Because hoarfrost on skinks is the bomb. Hoarfrost on units of skinks that can redeploy is the double bomb.

Tie that in with Lord of Celestial Resonance (which nearly every list takes) and the ability to generate Cosmic Power increases so that the Seraphon play can summon in yet more Skink units nearly every other turn.

Danny: So yeah, the Lores are great and plenty of good candidates for Hoarfrost. The question is, does the book support you getting these spells off? And the answer is, sure, in Starborne – where the combo is, cast Equilibrium with the Slann to give your other casters (probably a Skink Starpriest and Starseer, and possibly Kroak) +1, have everyone in the +1 to cast bubble from the Astrolith bearer, and then enjoy your native +1 on the Slann and +2 on Kroak, for something like 6 casts at +2, and 4 (from Kroak) at +4.

So what about the actual units? Seraphon have access to a pretty deep model selection although more than ever they’re very much split between Starborne/Coalesced. To some extent this is cool as it provides a distinct feel but it can also mean that, if you want to experience everything the book has to offer AND lean into the syneries, it feels like collecting two armies.

For example, my Starborne list is lizard wizards, Astrolith, 2x Chargers, skinks of various varieties, an Ark of Sotek, and a few flex points that I usually fill with a Salam…sorry, Chotec. My Coalesced lists are kroxigor and saurus warrior heavy, with only 1-2 wizards, and a Carnosaur – sometimes a Laser-don. Some of that stuff makes sense as a Summons in Starborne which does somewhat ease the pain of buying and painting them…

But either way, there are definitely some interesting warscrolls in the book. Before I do a screed – are there any stand outs you guys want to highlight, either from a competitive, design or other perspective?

Patrick: I mentioned earlier that the army had a well-deserved makeover when the new book came out. The new kits are absolutely gorgeous, and I think they capture the aggression and intimidation that an army of dinosaurs would have.

Specifically, I’ll call out the Kroxigors and Aggradon riders. Two units that had good rules, but the models themselves looked like they had just been pulled out of bed and weren’t fully awake. The new models are incredible, and I would give GW’s design team a huge amount of credit for finally making these monsters feel like monsters.

Danny: Agreed but I have issues with the warscrolls of each of those examples! Not from a strength standpoint – I’ve tried both and they have the right numbers in the right places – but I find their abilities frustratingly designed – and this is the start of a specific thread of bad design that you can trace through the book. It’s like they tried something new, and doubled down on it before testing and then couldn’t be bothered to change them.

For example – the Warspawned have an ability that gives them an extra attack if a skink model nearby dies. It’s a nice nod to the lore and older editions, and it’s not particularly hard to achieve – use skinks as a screen, have Krox just within 3″ behind them – job done.

But the issue in reality is that, on the actual board, this usually results in only a couple of extra attacks. And in Coalesced, there’s just no real other reason to take skinks, so soon as they’re dead, the ability can no longer be procced. The other rule that nods back to their WHFB formation is that Kroxigor can’t issue themselves commands (big dumb dinos!) but Skink unit champions can. Meaning there’s actually CONFLICT between the two rules – do you use skinks as a screen, given Krox aren’t particularly tanky, or keep them behind as a mobile command-giver? And In Starborne, it’s really hard to include Kroxigor and there’s no other synergy with them. So even though I love Kroxigor as a unit in their own right (in Coalesced), it’s just a frustratingly designed scroll.

Aggradons have a similar problem. They gain bonus attacks if they remain engaged at the end of a turn, but lose them whenever they end a turn out of engagement. In reality, I’ve found this has precisely one use – when you charge them in, they don’t kill something, they survive the hit back, and you win and take the double.

So, sure, it’s a neat little bonus to make up for lost models in a protracted engagement in a very specific circumstance but it’s very annoying that you could easily go multiple games without their signature ability ever coming into play.

And the book tries to carry this conceptual blood frenzy into the battle tactics – which are fine, overall – but the one that baffles me is ‘Pack Hunters’, which wants you to pick an enemy unit within 3″ of an Aggradon unit and for it to be within 3″ of 2 Aggradon units at the end of the turn.

When you think this through, that’s such a niche scenario as to be practically nonsensical. ‘Stampede of Scales’ – ‘have 3 monsters run and each to end within 6″ of one of those monsters, AND be wholly within enemy territory’.

Now, given there’s no way to make Seraphon monsters run and charge, this is basically asking you to run your three precious monsters into enemy territory and… do nothing else. I can see this working well when you’ve tabled the enemy already but otherwise… how does this interestingly play into your strategy?

The book enhancements have a slightly different design issue, and it’s one that has unfortunately reared its ugly head in a fair few other books. Simply put, they’re divided into ‘fluffy but a huge gamble’ (and these are usually once-per-game effects) and ‘overwhelmingly obvious competitive choice’. I’m all for supporting fluffier options but I stand by my claim that it’s more fun for everyone involved if there’s an actual meaningful choice between varied effects – that would also lead to more varied (and therefore fun) list building.

Rant over..!

Patrick: Which is where conversations about internal balance come into play as a whole. I’ve said for a long time that the Idoneth Deepkin tome is one of the better examples of internal balance. Everything has a place and a use, and we see that in GT articles where no two Idoneth lists look the same.

Peter can provide specific detail(and let me know if I’m wrong) but Seraphon were mono-build for a long time. Take Lord Kroak, take Thunder Lizard, take three Bastiladons, take Cogs, push the “win” button. I’m afraid that the book hinges so thoroughly on Kroak and spellcasting that it’s still competitively mono-build.

Proper internal balance is hard to achieve, and GW frequently misses the mark.

Peter: Yeah, I agree. Looking at the competitive lists that go 4+ wins, Lord Kroak, the Astrolith Bearer and a Slann Starmaster appear in every list. Along with usually, two units of Skinks and a unit of Warriors. On top of that, they all take Malevolent Maelstrom as well. This brings the points of your core competitive units to 1215. Leaving possibly only 785points worth of true choice.

Lord Kroak (410)
Saurus Astrolith Bearer (140)
Slann Starmaster (275)

Skinks (90)
Skinks (90)
Saurus Warriors (180)

1 x Malevolent Maelstrom (30)


Patrick: Every. List.

That goes beyond a balance problem. We’re fully in over-tooled and under-costed territory.

Peter: Every Competitive List that goes 4 wins or more.

Patrick: Fair point.

Danny: And it doesn’t necessarily mean Kroak is OP – it’s rather that the other options, especially Coalesced – don’t have a good viable alternative.

But either way, in summary – a real mixed bag in terms of enhancements, with most of them being consigned to the ‘maybe one day for fluff bin’, and the usual spread of pointless Grand Strats with one competitively decent if not terribly inspired one (have a Seraphon unit in each quarter). Mostly good warscrolls with some glaring lowlights, design if not efficiency wise.

And one last time I’d like to say – what were they thinking with the Engine of the Gods? You get #feelsbad just looking at the ability table on the scroll.

But overall, I do think Starborne feel like cosmic wizard lizards and by and large, Coalesced now look and feel like big stompy chompers, so in terms of overall player fantasy, it’s probably largely a success. Both internal and external balance issues can be address to some extent with future points changes, but can never account for the design failings.

Any last words from you gents before we make like a skink and re-roll our redeploy out of here?

Patrick: I’m not a fan of competitive mono-build, but overall I’m pleased with the book. The model range and magic are great, and hopefully we see some changes in the future to boost the less-used units.

Peter: I think the book is OK and the models are great. This particular handbook may be favouring them slightly more than past ones, but that’s the way of things sometimes.

Danny: My final final_finalV2 thought is that, yes we know double frog is good with Krondspine but I don’t want to even get into it. Overall I think there are 3/4 strong sub-factions. I still think further points tweaks are needed, and even though I’m disappointed in some of the design space – fangtastic new models, a variety of play-styles and a good core internal balance (with just a few outliers on either end) make for a fun book with depth and character. Now someone go forth and find a Thunder Lizards build!

Woehammer Reviews: Generals Handbook 23-24

I’ve decided to run through the handbook and make some uneducated notes on what I think we’ll see in the competitive community.

Warning! This will Age badly!!

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Elementgames (UK)

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Special Rules

One with the Land

Wizard Heroes with a wounds characteristic of 9 or less and are not unique gain the Andtorian Locus keyword.

Optimal Focus

Credit to Games Workshop via Warhammer Community

Primal Magic

At the start of the hero phase both players roll a dice. For each 4+, each player receives 1 Primal Magic Dice.

Note: This reads as 1 player rolls 4+, and then both they and their opponent receive the Primal Magic Dice. If they both roll 4+, they both receive 2 dice.

After a player attempts to cast or unbind a spell or endless spell they can roll 1 of their Primal Magic Dice. If they do so, add the result to their roll. The player can continue to roll Primal Magic Dice until they suffer a Primal Magic Miscast or have run out of Primal Magic Dice.

Note: The Primal Magic Dice can be used by any wizards and not just Andtorian Locus. One model I can see benefitting greatly from this is Gobsprakk in the Kruleboyz, who’ll be able to add another dice to his unbind and dispel attempts. This will give him a greater chance of causing mortal wounds against wizards. It will also mean that when using Mandrakk, he could use 4d6 on the dispel, almost guaranteeing the D6 mortals against the enemy caster. What does seem a little busted at this stage is whether Primal Magic Dice count towards the casting roll for ability effects, which cause mortal wounds.

Abilities that allow you to re-roll casting, unbinding, or dispelling rolls must be used before using any Primal Magic Dice. Any such re-rolls cannot be supplemented with the Primal Magic Dice, and any such Dice that remain at the end of the battle round are lost.

Primal Miscast

Rolls which have had Primal Magic Dice added to the result will have a chance of miscasting. This occurs when two or more of the dice are rolled as unmodified 1’s.

The spell is not cast and the caster suffers D3+3 mortal wounds as a result. Any units within 3″ of the caster also suffer D3 mortal wounds. In addition, the caster cannot cast any further spells that phase.

Likewise, if two or more of the dice on a roll which includes Primal Magic Dice are 6’s the spell cannot be unbound, however the caster cannot cast any further spells that phase and both players receive 1 additional Primal Magic Dice.

Realmsphere Magic

You can pick 1 spell from the Lore of Primal Frost for each Andtorian Locus in your army instead of picking 1 spell from another Lore they know.


Credit to Games Workshop via Warhammer Community

Note: This spell could be particularly effective on screens or units that are already benefitting from buffs to their to hit or to wound rolls. Once again Kruleboyz and more specifically, Hobgrots could benefit from the increase in damage, kicking out 5-6 successes with 2-3 damage each. Or reinforced Giant Rats with 24 attacks at rend -5 anyone!? Zombies hitting on 2’s?!

Giant Rats Stonks


Rupture is a spell that has a casting value of 10 and range of 18″. If successfully cast pick 1 predatory endless spell or Incarnate wholly within range and visible to the caster. The target immediately becomes wild and cannot be picked to be bonded or controlled for the rest of the battle.

Note: Not as effective as you’d first imagine, as pointed out by PlasticCraic, owners of Incarnates are usually very keen for their Krondspines to go wild as early as possible. However, IF an opponent as chosen Magic made Manifest as their grand strategy this would be a useful spell in your pocket.

Merciless Blizzard

Merciless Blizzard has a casting value of 12 and a range of 12″. If successfully cast pick 1 enemy unit within range and visible to the caster. That unit suffers 4D6 mortal wounds, but for each roll of 1 the caster suffers D3 mortal wounds that cannot be negated (No ward saves).

Command Traits

The following command traits can only be chosen for your General if they are an Andtorian Locus.

Shaman of the Chilled Lands

This General knows all the spells from the Lore of Primal Frost.

Eye of the Blizzard

At the start of your hero phase, if your general is on the battlefield roll a dice. On. A 5+ you gain 1 Primal Magic Dice.

Chilled to the Bone

Once per battle, if this general suffers a miscast or primal miscast roll 1 dice. On 3+, the general can ignore the effects of the miscast or primal miscast.

Eater of Magic

Each time this general successfully unbinds a spell roll a dice. On 5+, the caster no longer knows that spell and cannot cast it for the remainder of the battle.

Note: I can see this one being the most commonly taken of the Command Traits from the book. Though whether the benefits are enough for players to choose an Andtorian Locus as their general remains to be seen. The chance to remove spells permanently, such as Spellsinger (Sylvaneth).

Nullstone Adornments

Nullstone Adornments are unique enhancements that can only be included in armies that do not contain any wizards. One can be given to a hero in your army who does not have an Artefact of Power. If you have the ability to take two enhancements you can do so from the table below, but each enhancement can only be included once in your army, and no hero can possess more than one Nullstone Adornment or Artefact of Power.

Note: This is a great little addition for those armies without any wizards such as Blades of Khorne or Fyreslayers. Allowing them to get involved in magic without having to ally in wizards.

Hand-carved Nullstone Icon

The bearer can attempt to unbind one spell or attempt to dispel one endless spell in the enemy hero phase in the same manner as a wizard. Each time the bearer is successful using this ability, the bearer can attempt to dispel one additional spell that phase.

Pouch of Nulldust

Once per battle, at the start of the hero phase, you can say that the bearer will use their pouch of Nulldust. If you do so, until the end of that phase unmodified casting rolls of double 1’s, 2’s or 3’s are treated as miscast, or if a Primal Magic Dice was used as part of the cast, a Primal Miscast. In addition, roll a dice for each endless spell on the battlefield. On a 5+, that endless spell is dispelled.

Note: Once per game, but timed right, it could put a serious dent into your opponent’s spellcasting. However, I suspect that the Hand-carved Nullstone Icon will likely be the go-to adornment for non-wizard armies.

Polished Nullstone Pebble

When this unit is picked as the target of a spell or the abilities of an endless spell, you can roll a dice. On a 4+, the caster must pick another unit within 3″ of this unit and within range of the spell or the Endless Spells abilities to be the target. If there are no other units within 3″, ignore the spell or endless spell effects instead.

Core Battalions

Andtorian Acolytes

Must include at least two Andtorian Locus units and can include up to three Andtorian Locus units.

At the start of the battle, if there are two or more Andtorian Locus units in this battalion roll a dice. On 3+ you gain 1 Primal Magic Dice.

Wizard Finders of Andtor

Must include 1 hero that is not a wizard with 10 wounds or less, as well as 1 infantry unit with a wounds characteristic of 4 or less and is not Leader, Artillery or Behemoth and does not have mounts. It can include an additional infantry unit as described above, as well as a Behemoth unit that is not a leader.

Each time a unit from this battalion is chosen to fight, it may go on a wizard hunt. If it does so, add 1 attack to one of its melee profiles until the end of that phase. But all the attacks of that hit in that phase must target a wizard.

Grand Strategies

Control the Nexus

At the end of the battle, this is achieved if 2 or more friendly wizard units are within 6″ of the centre of the battlefield.

Spellcasting Savant

When the battle ends, if you have chosen an Andtorian Locus as your general, you score this Grand Strategy if your general is still alive.

Slaughter of Sorcery

You complete this Grand Strategy if there are no wizard units on the battlefield at the end of the game.

Barren Icescape

At the end of the battle, if all enemy units with Artefacts of Power and no enemy units are within 6″ of the centre of the board, you complete this Grand strategy.


This grand strategy of completed if, at the end of the battle, all enemy battleline units are destroyed, and you have at least one battleline unit remaining.

Magic made Manifest

Gained at the end of the battle if two or more endless spells/incarnates remain on the battlefield bonded to friendly units.

Battle Tactics

Intimidate the Invaders

Achieved at the end of the turn if their are more friendly units outside of your territory that there are inside it.


You complete this tactic if an enemy unit that destroyed a friendly general earlier in the Battle is destroyed this turn.

Endless Expopriation

You score this tactic if an enemy bonded endless spell or Incarnate is either bonded to one of your own units, are wild, or the controlling enemy unit has been destroyed.

Magical Dominance

You score this tactic if a friendly wizard was able to cast at least one spell and none of your spells were dispelled or unbound.

Note: This may be easier to score as the game progresses and enemy wizards are destroyed. Or if your enemy chooses an army without any wizards in its list and does not include the Hand-carved Nullstone Icon. It could be a good one to keep for the late game.

Magical Mayhem

Pick 1 enemy unit on the battlefield. You score this tactic, of that unit is destroyed by a spell or endless spell.

Note: One of the few battle tactics that armies without spell casters cannot achieve. Armies such as Fyreslayers or Blades of Khorne will struggle here without an allied wizard.

Bait and Trap

You complete this tactic if two or more friendly units retreated this turn, and two or more friendly units charged this turn.

Led into the Maelstrom

You complete this tactic if 1 or more friendly heroes and 1 or more friendly battleline units made a charge move this turn, and at least one of those units is within 3″ of an enemy unit.

Surround and Destroy

Pick three different friendly units, you complete this tactic at the end of your turn if each unit is within 6″ of different battlefield edges and two or more are outside of your territory.


In general, the battleplans seem to be a lot more fun this season, aside from one or two, which have negative effects on one or two factions, as mentioned below. The battle tactics seem easier thus time around and should mean those without newer tomes published in the last year can still compete.

With the battleplan Power Flux which awards VPs for slaying wizards, I can see the Lumineth being left on the shelf by top-tier players in favour of other armies.

Nighthaunt likewise may not see much play with Every Step is Forward meaning they can’t retreat and contest objectives, and Frigid Zephyr battleplan turning off their ability to fly.

Ossiarch Bonereapers command trait teachings of the tithe-reapers (first spell successfully cast by the general cannot be unbound) just became even better!

Units which could be seeing a lot more play over the next year, may be;

  • Gobsprakk (Kruleboyz)
  • Warsong (Sylvaneth)
  • Gaunt Summoners (Tzeentch)
  • Slaughterpriest (Khorne)
  • Cheapo Screens (all factions)

Leviathan – Tyranids

I have already taken a quick look at the other contents in the box, now it is time to takea look at the models, starting with the Hive Mind’s offering. I will not be putting the full datasheets into this article so if you would like to look at them in full for yourself then here is the Link.

Winged Tyranid Prime

The new variant and apparently a replacement for the original ‘Lieuntenant’ of the swarm, the Tyranid Prime. The datasheets for Tyranids that recently dropped appear to mix the original Prime into the Warriors datasheet so no longer a standalone unit.

One key thing to notice here is yes, this is a character but NO it does not appear to have the Lone Operative keyword. This means the Winged Prime can be targetted unless it is leading a unit, which it can do as it has the Leader keyword.
It is also fairly squishy with only 6 wounds, toughness 5 and a 4+ save (no natural invulnerable save). So if you intend to use one of these I suggest mixing it into a unit. I personally will be trying Gargoyles first to retain the movement. The other options are the two Tyranid Warrior squad types but I feel it’s mobility is the Winged Prime’s biggest advantage.

Damage wise, it is making 6 Attacks at Strength 6 and AP of -1 so nothing too special but at damage 2 and combined with the sustained hits it gains when part of a unit I could see big chunks being taken out of infantry squads. If all non gene-enhanced infantry are still toughness 3 then that’s an average of 8 damage before saves (unfortunately only 4 single wound models though). That is 6 damage against your standard issue marine (toughness 4) so 3 dead marines before those annoying save rolls.


Very much a strategic unit who, again, will need to be embedded to stop it being too squishy. Less so than the Winged Prime at toughness 8, 4+ save (with a 4+ invulnerable built-in) and 9 wounds but still not the most survivable.

Damage wise, you are going to be mincing up some squishy brains here. A swingy Psychic Scream doing 2D6 attacks at strength 5 and AP -1 can be good against infantry, especially as it auto-hits. At 2 damage per attack that is an average of 9-10 damage (or 5ish marines) against a toughness 4 opponent before save rolls.
In melee it is almost the same – 6 attacks at strength 5 hitting on 3’s and no AP so less average output than the scream. Basically keep everything at arm’s tentacle’s length and scream like an angry toddler.

I would suggest surrounding it with some chaff like the neurogaunts to take a few bullets until you use it to buff your Shadow in the Warp ability. Battleshock seems to be the big thing this edition so don’t underestimate it.

Von Ryan’s Leapers

The new boy’s in the box (which I wanted to be Lictors) who come with a weird name – I am sure they will be just called leapers by the community at large. I see these as shock troopers, filling the role that genestealers did in the last edition (and doing it slightly better).

With 6 attacks each, hitting on 3s and strength 5 they are enough to scare most infantry squads. Deploying them deep will act as a deterrent to your opponent from committing anything squishy to objectives early on. The fight first ability will especially work in your favour here if you don’t get first turn.
However at toughness 5 with a 4+ save (6+ invulnerable) they are squishy, even with the addition of Stealth giving them -1 to hit so make sure they are well hidden.

Another option is to use them defensively, using their Pouncing Leap (heroic intervention) and high mobility to intervene on behalf of units that aren’t so good at melee.


I do like me a monster, and this one I particularly like. The Psychophage is perfectly designed to get right into the mix. In fact, as it is only toughness 9, 10 wounds and a base save of 3+ (no invulnerable), you will want to get into combat and away from shooting fairly quick (or be good at hide and seek).

The Psychoclastic Torrent is a psychic flamer, doing D6 attacks at strength 6 and AP of -1. Then, getting into close combat, it’s Talons do D6+1 attacks at strength 6. These do hit on a 3+ but if you can reduce your target below starting strength using the torrent before charging this becomes a 2+. It will also gain +1 to wound if the target is below half strength, this may be an incentive to let another unit hit the target first. The damage output will be swingy but combined with Devastating Wounds on melee the Psychophage should be tearing up some squishy infantry with no issues.

You will also want to keep it mixed into your swarms as every friendly unit within 6″ gains a 6+ Feel No Pain courtesy of the Bio-stimulus aura.

The steadfast cannon fodder of the hive mind. Some use them purely as a shield or objective holder but I have always liked bringing these in decent numbers and buffing them to become a real pain to my opponent.

I personally take the Fleshborers on my termagants for the additional strength. Being strength 5 means typically a 3+ to wound roll against most infantry types and the addition of the assault keyword allows decent mobility and board presence.
They are only 1 wound and toughness 3 so if you do want to use them as more than a meat shield I suggest pairing them with a Tervigon, for the regular respawn, or the Psycophage, for the 6+ Feel No Pain.

Ripper Swarms
Rippers are getting a brand new model. In the past these have been used for holding your own home objective or dropping in late to steal one. I can see them being used for this still however I can see an additional use as an objective denial. They have an Objective Control characteristic of 0 themselves but they have an ability called Chitinous Horrors which halves this in engaged enemies. My thinking is they can deepstrike and charge in to interfere with a contested objective, denying your opponent victory points in their next command phase.

They are not to be relied upon for damage, as they only hit on a 5+ in both melee and shooting, so they are probably just going to be used for objective control or denial.


Another unit similar to Ripper Swarms in that they have a specific purpose but will likely not do any damage to your opponent. I would likely use these as shields for characters, like the Neurotyrant, or as a synapse extender. They could even do both with some clever positioning, just remember to comply with unit coherency.

With no shooting available these guys rely on their single melee attack hitting on a 4+ at strength 3. In large numbers they could do some damage to infantry but they will only be a meat shield for your character against tougher opponents.


As an anti-infantry artillery unit the Barbgaunts can play a key role in maintaining board control. The Bio-cannon is fairly decent against typical infantry but will be swingy as it is D6 shots. Though with hitting on a 4+ and strength 5 any hits that are made should be effective. My suggestion (depending on points value) is to go for 10 of these, or two squads of 5, to maximise shots.

However the best value from these is their Disruption Bombardment ability – giving a reduction of 2″ to movement values, charge rolls and advance rolls. This only takes a single hit to an infantry unit and especially frustrating to your opponent if combined with the Fire Overwatch stratagem to stop that deep striking unit amking a clutch charge.


I love this model and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. As for it’s use on the battlefield this unit will be very good against infantry, with it’s high number of attacks, whilst also being strong enough for the more elite models.

The Bio-plasmic Scream is only strength 8, so less useful against Dreadnaughts (Toughness 10), and slightly swingy with it’s D6+3 attacks but with AP-2 you should do some damage. However the nice thing about this weapon is that a single hit will force a battleshock test. Failing this will cause your opponent to lose buffs and that key Objective Control characteristic, allowing you to steal a contested objective.

Melee will be the most deadly use for the Screamer-Killer. Having 10 attacks, hitting on 3s at strength 10. Add in an AP of -2 you are only looking at a probable 5 damage to something like the Ballistus Dreadnaught. However put him against a squad of Terminators and you are looking at an average of 3 dead in a single round.

That would be my way to use it, send it after the objectives secured by elite or normal infantry and either clear it out or take it by battleshock.

So, in summary, there are a lot of beautiful xenomorphs in this box and each of them with a viable role. I hope this is indicative of the new edition, with more viable competitive list options to give some variety in the opponents you face. But we shall see.
As always, hop on over to our Discord and let us know what you think!

Where to Buy
GW have announced it will be available for a two-week preorder from Saturday 10th June, I have included GWs times below. I always advocate supporting your local independent stockists, following the idea of Pay where you play, but if you are looking for somewhere, and would like to support Woehammer, we do have a couple of affiliate links:

Not Just Gamin’ will be offering the Leviathan box with a 15% discount!

Element Games will also be offering the Leviathan box at 15% below the RRP

Leviathan – Our thoughts on the box

So everyone and their dog has heard about the Leviathan box over the past few months. It is a massive box, GW claim (once again) that it is the “Biggest Warhammer release in history!”

Looking at the pictures, there is no denying the amount contained, so let’s take a look at what you get.

I will dive into the miniatures in two more articles, one for marines and one for tyranids, but let’s take a look at everything else first.

Exclusive Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan Rulebook
This is typical and essential for a new edition launch box. There’s no point in having the box if you don’t get the new rules for the game. I had the 9th edition launch box, and the rulebooks contained are always of nice quality, chunky enough to rob a bank*, and the imagery makes it suitable for display. I have to say, though, the image of a terminators helmet with the Leviathan logos is not quite as nice as the logo free Guilliman/Abaddon duel image on the 9th book. But that’s just me!

Chapter Approved Leviathan Mission Deck
Now, this is what I am most interested in, having exclusively played Tempest of War since it’s release in 9th. I don’t think I have seen the community as united as they were over the positive reception of this format. It looks like GW has listened to the feedback and decided to make the mission generator the main way to play the game.
If you have played Tempest, then this looks to be exactly the same, apart from the addition of Gambits. Everything can be generated at the start of the game, and you can either have fixed secondary missions or tactical secondary missions (greater reward but constant change). The interesting thing here is that both sides can choose either type of secondary. They don’t have to be the same.
They have stated that tournaments may generate these missions ahead of time, but that will come down to the organiser. It does make sense for competitive play, but I will be interested to see how list building changes for tournaments that are randomised for every game.

I also love the addition of the Gambit mechanic. I need to play to really get a feel for it but the idea of being able to scrap your primary and try for a hail mary when you don’t think you can win feeds my love of cinematic moments in games. It is also very 40k that the example they give is basically turning everything to ash.
The idea is that at the end of the third battle round, you may play a secretly chosen gambit card from your Gambit deck. It isn’t made clear whether this is chosen at the start or at this point. Whilst the gambits can give you a large boost in points, it does look like meeting the terms of the card won’t guarantee you the points. The example below relies on a dice roll to complete it, and even meeting all the terms only gives you a 42% chance of succeeding.

Space Marines Transfer Sheet
Well, the box does contain Space Marines, so it would be silly not to include one. Although, at this point, I think even if the box didn’t contain Marines** it would still have one of these in just to make sure you remember they exist.

What are your thoughts on the box? Are you excited for the new mission systems as well? Let us know on our discord!

*Please don’t try to rob a bank with it. You will be laughed at.
** Blasphemy!

Where to Buy
GW has announced it will be available for a two-week preorder from Saturday, 10th June, I have included GWs times below. I always advocate supporting your local independent stockists, following the idea of Pay where you play, but if you are looking for somewhere, and would like to support Woehammer, we do have a couple of affiliate links:

Not Just Gamin’ will be offering the Leviathan box with a 15% discount!

Element Games will also be offering the Leviathan box at 15% below the RRP

Lion El’Jonson – Primarch Rules Revealed

The primarch of the first legion has awoken from his slumber and returned to our tabletops. His rules are the latest Warhammer Community reveal. Let’s take a look at what he offers.

His stat line is very comparable to Guilliman’s, which makes sense as he could be argued as the ‘vanilla’ primarch. However there are some improvements including number of attacks and, most surprisingly, an additional leadership point.

The Lion does not come across as being especially tough either. With only toughness 6 and 9 wounds it would not take much for heavy weaponry to remove him from the field. There is currently no mention of a resurrection rule for him either so once he’s gone that’s it! He does have a couple of tricks up his sleeves though…

As with most Space Marine characters the Lion comes with a 4+ invulnerable save in the form of his shield. Whilst this is pretty solid it wouldn’t take many unsaved shots from heavy damage weapons (or a certain faction that can ignore invulnerable saves…) to put him back into his slumber.

This also has the ability to reflect melee attacks, dealing mortal wounds (to a maximum of 3) on any unmodified save rolls of 6. So coupled with his sword, Fealty, he is a definite melee threat.

The sweep profile will give him a total of 20 attacks into a single unit so, at strength 6 and AP of -3, that is most standard units sliced up in quick succession even without the 2 damage each wound causes. Then there is also a strike profile that gives him strength 10 attacks at AP -5 and 4 damage apiece. With a potential 40 damage output (averaging about 5.5 successful wounds, or 20- 22 damage, against most targets up to toughness 9 before saving throws) he has the potential to deal with most large foes.

The most interesting reveal is his ability to deep strike using the Forestwalk ability.40k LionRules Mar28 Boxout3This is a particularly good deep strike as it allows you to re-roll a charge roll. As the Lion appears to be fairly fragile against shooting this would be a game-changing roll.

As is the current issue with the existing edition, I see the Lion being another high value model that will either be snuffed out before he finishes his morning coffee or an absolute machine that will decimate an army as he moves from engagement to engagement. We have, however, not been shown his entire ruleset yet and there is no mention of a firearm. There is definitely one on the model and I doubt somehow that it will just be a heavy bolt pistol.

What are your thoughts on the Lion? Are his rules even worth looking at with the imminent re-write coming with 10th edition? Let me know!

Warhammer 40k Datasheet Changes

One of the major announcements for 40k’s Tenth Edition was the changes to the datasheets and the production of data cards with all the unit information included. One of my favourite parts of Age of Sigmar, and other similar games, is having as much information on the table top in front of you as possible, so you don’t have to constantly look at apps and books. So this is a very welcome addition!

Let’s take a closer look at what is included on the cards:

The unit stats appear to stay mostly the same in regards to Movement, Toughness, Save, and Wounds. Leadership is still present, but there is talk of a new way of applying Battleshock, which will be revealed in the coming weeks. What we know so far is that it will be included in the command phase and will affect how the unit acts rather than killing models.

There is also a brand new stat included, which is listed as “OC”. According to the FAQ article, on the Warhammer Community site, this stands for Objective Control and is ‘a measure of how good a unit is at holding a contested objective’. Now, will this be a measure per model? As a unit of 20 termagants could have an OC score of up to 40 if they sit around an objective (to be fair, not much else will get on the objective if that is the case!). We shall see!

Interestingly, the Strength, Ballistic and Weapons Skills and the Attacks characteristics have been moved to the specific weapons instead of being in the unit stats. I imagine this is to remove the weapon modifiers and instead have the given characteristic in the weapon information. For example – a marine with a thunder hammer currently has a WS of 3+, and the hammer’s weapon abilities state “Subtract 1 from the attack’s hit roll”. I can see this instead of just saying WS 4+ on the weapons stat line. This can also apply with weapons like the Astartes Chainsword (+1 attack) and the Power Sword (+1 strength). I personally welcome having these modifiers included in the stat line as it will be easier to apply stat changes to help balance weapon profiles.

I have also noticed that there doesn’t appear to be a space for specific weapon abilities outside of the keywords listed alongside the weapon name. This must mean they are going to make full use of their new “Universal Special Rules” application to simplify this. I am intrigued to see more on these moving forward!

The abilities section is also useful as having all the unit abilities listed for reference will make it much easier to remember everything that is going on.

Apparently, a lot of the abilties and stratagems are going to become reactive. The example given on the Termagant card, “Skulking Horror”, appears to be a good example of this as it allows you to move the termagants, once per turn, up to D6 inches away from an approaching enemy.

I like this approach as it will make you feel a lot less helpless when you see that a mistake you made, or perhaps an advance roll that didn’t quite get you enough movement, is about to cause you a lot of pain. This particular rule also requires some thought on your opponents side. Let’s say those Termagants are not quite on an objective, your opponent moving a unit within 9” of them could give you the extra few inches to take control and gain some valuable victory points in your next command phase (assuming scoring works the same way).

The last section is the Key Words, split into unit and faction specific. This appears to work in the same way as the current edition.

I, personally, am quietly hopeful that these changes will make the game much more playable with less time flicking through books and less of a heavy reliance on remembering all these stats. My only concern is the frequency at which GW amend rules with FAQs, will it make those shiny datasheet cards you purchased obsolete quickly (I am thinking of the existing datacard packs and how often the wording is changed). There are ways around this such as FAQ sticker packs that could allow you to stick the new wording or stat line over the existing printed card but I see this as being more of a third party item than something GW will produce. But we shall see!

Let me know your thoughts, are you excited for this, cautiously optimistic or do you have a slight feeling of dread for these changes?

Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Cinematic

With all the excitement around the new edition of 40k coming soon I thought I would do a bit of a sift of the glorious cinematic they released and try to find any little glimmers of what kind of models to expect in the new box. As we know from the last editions release they do like to tease us with small details.

This is all obviously speculation and entirely my own opinion as to what we may have seen. Please feel free to point out my errors or anything I missed. I am hoping to start conversations about the game I love!

So let us delve into the grim darkness and see what we find.

Let’s start with the Tyranids and, with what is likely the most obvious, the screamer-killer.

Now we already have a screamer-killer variant of the existing carnifex model, from 2005, but this looks more like the old-school 1992 version to me, with less of a hunchback and less armour around the head. We also see the bio-plasmic scream in action, so it seems unlikely to be anything else. Perhaps a new dedicated model influenced by the original?

We have already had the new termagant model revealed, so we know that is coming. The last little tidbit I spotted for Tyranids was in this image…

Now, bear with my (hopeful) flight of fancy here but this coupled with a few more still looks like a possible Lictor? It is being displayed as a stealthy-boi with two giant appendages so…maybe? The existing model is from 2005, and in dire need of a refresh, so it is not beyond belief. There is also another image that helps add evidence to this.

Okay, so that last one is as clear as mud, like any good conspiracy photo, but when you watch those few frames, the bioform that grabs the apothecary and slings it around like a dog with a chew-toy very much resembles a Lictor. Again, this may be hope driving me to find connections that don’t exist but you never know…

Moving onto the marines, things are a little clearer here.

Yep, that’s another Redemptor Dreadnaught variant called the Gunslinger. I think that just about covers all the vairants the original Dreadnaught kit could built (ranged, hybrid and close combat) so should we start the retirement party now?

Not much else on new models here.. oh wait, there was something.


Terminators are back! Well, they never really left but they have a new sculpt. I am hoping the assault terminators will not be far behind (love me a thunder hammer and storm shield!) but at least we know the reliable old guard are not going anywhere. Including a new Terminator Librarian (who looks badass!)

I also spied some possible new weapon options for Primaris marines…

I believe that Reiver is holding a combi-flamer? And is that a Primaris Intercessor with a flamer? (Don’t roast me too hard if it’s not an intercessor, power armour variants were never my strong point!) I don’t think I have seen those weapons on any existing models so perhaps they are teasing at new weapons for these kits?

Let me know if you have seen anything different? Or if I missed anything entirely, or am living in a fantasy land. As always, this is for the fun of speculation and discussion!

See you in the grim dark!

Talkin’ Tomes: Slaves to Darkness with Big Phil

Ok, so first question for you, Phil – you’ve been on a few shows (like Coach’s) to talk about your thoughts on the whole book. But since then, I know you’ve played a whole bunch of test games, putting theory into practice. How many have you played since the book came out, and have any of your theories/feelings changed since the plastic has hit the table?

I have played a “couple” of games with the new book. Based on my spreadsheets, I have played 67 games with the new book, of which 13 of them are with the new GHB. My initial thoughts on the book was that Host of the Everchosen and Ravagers were going to be Damned Legions that I was going to lean into the most. Hosts is still really appealing for access to the second banner. The 5+ rally I thought was really strong but is also very situational as your army wants to be grinding it out in combat.

Ravagers, I think, have huge potential within a teams setting by maximising on cultists, splintered fang mostly but is something that I think will struggle in singles play. Having played a few games with both (11 with Hosts and 7 with Ravagers) I soon felt that the army felt quite reliant on its spell casting to elevate it to the level that I want it to play at, the army needs it spells to come off to really show its pure power. The Heroic action Draw on Power tends to be the go to heroic action and with this come the sacrifice of additional CP for what is quite a CP hungry army, at least with the new GHB going second will allow multiple heroic actions.

Since working this out, I have found myself playing purely Cabalists and have got in 49 games with them with two losses to Laurie & Sylvaneth and Mike Wilson with that horrid Hexwraith list. Both of which were close games. The power of casting 5 spells (in my builds) on 3D6 all but assures for a successful magic phase and even armies like Tzeentch struggle to shut you down, even if they welcome the 5 fate points, they dont like a fully buffed unit of Chosen having a 5″ charge through a soulscream bridge with Levitate.

Haha, yes, just a couple! I’ve played a slightly more humble 10 games (8 in new season) with the new book but I can totally see what you mean about HOTE – it’s hard to play into the rally while doing what the army wants to do. And yeah, Cabalists is where I’ve landed too – like you say, being able to actually plan around your casting and mitigate our lack of range/MWs with endless spells etc is clutch. Fascinating early thoughts, thank you. Since playing those 67 games, what’s your overall vibe on the book? Are you happy with the tools it has? At a high level, how do you think it’s balanced internally and externally?

I know you’ve said Splintered Fang seem to stick out internal AND external balance wise – they seem pretty obviously ‘off’ – but are there any other army rules or units that are standing out for better/worse to you?

Overall, I am happy with where the book has landed. We all knew the save stacking was going to disappear and as were all the re-rolls that we had. I am sure a lot of non slaves to darkness players are pretty happy about this! The new book really suits the way I like to play, which is very much an aggro play style. Your models will now die but will do a mass amount of damage in the process. With regards to the tools it has on offer, the lists that I have been focused on are still really reliant on the sorcerer lords and hard-hitting elite units such as Chosen and Knights. These units are quite pricey but are worth every point for me. The addition of the ensorceled banners is great and gives so much to these elite units with either the survive-ability of the nurgle banner or the heavy hitting prowess of the khorne or slaanesh banner.

What helps is that we still also have very cheap battle line options with the cultists that do a great job for their points costs, particularly the Unmade and Corvus Cabal for me. In terms of the questions regarding the internal/external balance. As I stated, a lot of people are going to be much happier playing against this book as you will actually see models get taken off the table. The army is a lot more “honest” now, its a combat army that hits like a train, has a good save, but isn’t immune to rend 5, for example.

People are going to hate me, I don’t actually think the splintered fang are as much of an issue as everyone thinks with them, yes they do MWs on 6s to hit and wound on a 2+. A unit of 30 with no buffs other than khorne on the charge is 96 attacks, which averages 16MWs and 26 saves at no rend. They are then bravery 6, 5+ save, movement 6. Good players will be able to deal with them before they get there.

Units that I think have really stood out for me are Chosen, which may sound stupid after playing with Varanguard for so long. The double fight mechanic can never be overlooked, especially as they dont need to be within 3″ for it to trigger, and with a 2″ reach, it can be quite devastating if people don’t screen correctly. These with a soulscream bridge are super scary when casting all spells on 3d6. The unit in Khorne averages 12 damage and 7MWs against a 2+ unrendable save on the first activation. For me, there isn’t much in the game that can stand up to this unit double fighting. The other unit for me is Knights. Initially, I was looking at them as big damages sources as MSU and was running warriors in Nurgle with the banner.

Now I have moved to a big unit of knights with the nurgle banner as they can add an extra dynamic to the list to what the warriors gave, they give that double edge with being able to deal damage and also grind out your opponents, I often use them to pin in my opponents and clear away all the screens turn 1 to leave open avenues for my chosen to get bridged in and do damage.

Big miss for me is Archaon, and I hate to say it, as he and I had such a bromance last year. But at 860, he’s over costed. He has some great abilities with no inspiring or rally, but he just doesnt do enough consistent damage to warrant the price tag anymore, he is also keyword locked into a subfaction that offers him no benefits and also potentially hampers the army you take in it. As you then start struggling to fully utilise the double banners. If you could take him in Ravagers and perform the heroic action attributed to them, then Archaon may be back in my list buidling.

Sorceror Lords definitely do a lot of heavy lifting, don’t they? And amen in terms of the chaff – I’m so impressed with how they’ve managed to make almost all of the Warcry cultist units have their own identity and role. Horns of Hashut don’t jump off the page, but even they have a ranged anti-chaff attack and decent tankiness for their points. Cypher Lords and Tarantulos – and this is a shame because they both look so cool – are two of the less inspiring ones, but otherwise, it’s a great selection.

On that note – haha I think you’d have to say worse than that about the Splintered Fang for me to hate you – they’re a hot topic but I’m with you – they have great output on paper but we all know games aren’t won on paper. Chosen are the new darlings for sure, right? I know you’re making hay with the Khorne allies while the sun shines – but I think even once that ends, with Undivided mark and the Dread Banner I’ve found it’s super reliable to get them to rend 2-3 and a few other super useful buffs too.

Nurgle Knights as a pinning device is very interesting – given they hit on 4s (frustrating!), this sounds like a great way to run them. And I also hard agree with you on Archaon – I know how much it must hurt you to say that!! – in my test games with him, he’s super fun but yeah, his damage output is actually super swingy and poor overall, and agree the key word locking is frustrating as it really limits the tactical options of both him and some of the ‘lesser’ sub-factions.

So, let’s double down on sub-factions quickly. We know Cabalists is strong. HOTE and KOTET both have very clear and obvious benefits and play styles. But do you think there’s any untapped potential in LotP, Ravagers, or Despoilers?

Despoilers seems to me like the faction for ‘oh you’re an old player with loads of daemon princes and monsters – here’s a way you can kinda use them together – but just seems utterly non competitive given what monsters and daemon princes in the book are like.

For me I actually think Ravagers have the ability to be very good on the table, there are a lot of strong cultist units in the book and with the culmination of also a good allies pool, could pose a real threat on the table top, especially with the heroic action to bring back half a unit. Imagine killing a unit of splintered fang after its just done 26 MWs and forced 49 armour saves [EDITOR’s NOTE: Obvs there’s since been the FAQ to disallow Khorne heroes buffing Slaves units, but you get the point] with the right khorne pieces bloodstoker & bloodsecrator with the charge, then they come back in your hero phase and you get to do half of that all over again! The fact that they come down in the hero phase and you are able to move after is another huge benefit. I was playing some test games with them with Archaon and having them fight on death as well.

Once the Khorne allies go, I think we are more likely to see a transition to Slaanesh to aid their delivery to where they want to be, run and charge, throw in a warshrine and charge 3d6 and you will be able to get the across the board pretty reliably. You might even see a Daemon Prince with a trophy rack to aid them against the chip damage!

Legion of The First Prince is an interesting one. It’s not one that I would focus on the allies pool too much or even Belakor. I instead would really lean into the eye of the gods and look to roll as much as you can on the table with a unit of 10 Chosen or 6 Varanguard, with the ability to give one of these the mark of your choice each turn it really gives great utility to react to what is happening in a game. I played my friend the other day with 10 Chosen with the dread banner and he is rolling on the eye of the gods up to 3 times a turn, think by turn 3 his Chosen were rend 4, plus 3 to charge and 6+ Ward. There is definitely scope there! But are they better than the other banners? Time will tell.

I will be honest, Despoilers. Read it, didn’t look into it. I am sure Simon Weakley will come up with some mental list surrounding a bunch of Daemons Princes but I dont think that there scroll is the strongest out there, the fact that the best ability is an heroic action is frustrating. The fact that you can add 2 wounds to all your Daemon Princes and Monsters is nice, with a 3+ save on the princes and 6+ Ward. You effectively become 14 wounds. There are some nice command traits you can use that make the princes a bit more tanky or fighty, but it really isn’t a legion i would be leaning into.

Yeah Despoilers definitely seems like the biggest miss, mainly due to how limited Daemon Princes are like you say – I’ve had success with one as a utility platform (trophy wracks keeping blobs of Chosen/Warriors safe, turning off wards, extra heroic action etc) but more than one seems likea huge trap.

Ok – I’d love to get your thoughts on something more philosophical – and that’s why are the coolest looking units in the book so mediocre? Daemon Prince, the iconic Chaos Warshrine, both ‘beasts (Mutalith and Slaughter), Ogroid Myrmidon – and I’m going to throw the Chaos and Exalted lords in there even though they have obvious scoring utility in the new season. Why did the rules writers take their foot of the gas on them – or do they have potential? Seems to me, if nothing else, the Myrmidon and chaos lords have utterly boring scrolls and essentially rely on lucky EotG rolls to become semi-useful late game, when most foot heroes in the game have some kind of fun buff/command ability etc.

The Muta/Slaughter beasts seem almost there but lack the things you’d expect – no decent rend on a giant Khorne monster, most of the Mutalith effects being super poor and relying on having a Tzeentch wizard nearby (which you don’t want as Gaunt summoner sucks and the Tzeentch mark also sucks) – etc etc. Am I missing something with these guys? They’re my biggest let downs in the book, and even though we have enough stuff to be competitive, it feels like there’s a lot of missed design/fun potential here. Thoughts?

For me, I think two of the MVPs of the last book in the Chaos Lord & The Warshrine are a detriment of their own success. For a long period of time, you saw both these models in the vast majority of lists. The Warsrhine for me is the biggest miss, though, as this book feels like you want to be mixing and matching sub factions, and locking its ability to the keyword it’s assigned is a feels bad. Particularly, as Slaanesh for me feels the only really viable mark for the 3D6 charge. My lovely Mindstealer was quickly moved from auto, including to the bin, with the removing of its awesome ability and the monster keyword! Both the Slaughter & Mutalith Vortex beasts are warscrolls I quickly passed over, as you say the lack of rend on the Slaughter Beast and the Mortilth Vortex Beast having cool abilities but the chances of them coming off cant be assured in the slightest.

However, I actually like the Gaunt Summoner! He is a two cast wizard, knows the full spell (which allows him to know levitate), and naturally plus 1 to cast. The summoner gives options with spell casting, but I feel he is slightly over costed at 210 points. But, I have used in some Host of The Everchosen lists that I have been trialling as that second banner keeps eyeing me up!

Yeah I think you’re right, GW have mostly smashed it out of the park with 3e books feeling very thematic etc, but they do seem to have a pattern of hammering stuff too much down that stood out before. My issue is that it’s not a points issue necessarily, but a frustrating design issue. And yeah I totally agree on the Gaunt Summoner being over-costed – he’s a great magic option for the reasons you say, but the fact the Tzeentch Mark is so weak and him being so fragile for the points means it just feels way too risky to me to ever really include. But sure, outside of Cabalists, he gives you some magic phase flexibility.

OK, final questions! At the current points, what tier (or take a guess at average win-rate for the season) would you put the book in – for most normal (but competitive) players? What do you think our red match ups are?

For me I think the book is in between A & B tier, I think the win rate will very much the same at around 45%, people used to be able to get away with mistakes if they got the save stacking right, whereas now its not as forgiving, which sounds stupid considering the army has a base 3+ save, but with only one mystic shield and all out defense we need to think carefully of where it needs to go. The army packs even more of a punch now, so when you go in and it goes right, it will smash people away. The biggest reds for me are Lumineth, Tzeentch, and anything with mass AOE mortal wounds.

We are so reliant on our heroes and spell casting, so if opponents have a way of getting around the new Galletian Champions rules, it’s going to cause a massive issue and really lowers the effectiveness of the list. Tzeentch and Lumineth can both do this very well through magic. The next red is Nighthaunt, they can just turn off the fact that the army is 3+ save with the charge debuffs and with the cruciator reducing damage it becomes really hard as we have no way of taking out these pieces at range really without allying in units.

Legendary. I can believe that – I also think some of the design failings we spoke about combined with the eliteness just means we won’t be able to keep up with the board control of certain armies – looking at you with a side-goat-eye new BoC book and maybe even Gitz.

Ok, I think that about wraps it up, much as I’d love to ask you endless questions, I know you have a small tournament over in the US shortly to prepare for….

[Post-script] That little tournament was LVO – at which Phil went 4-1, losing only to 3rd place Kaleb’s Tzeentch, by 1 point!

Tournament Report: Fyreslayers at LVO 2023!

By: Kevin Lathers

The Setting

The 2023 Las Vegas Open for Age of Sigmar had the most participants ever! It was a new experience for me, as it was my first Grand Tournament with over 50 participants and this one had over 300 competitors. This tournament used the 2022-2023 Season 1 GHB, with a standard 5 rounds, followed by a knockout tournament for the top 8 competitors.

The event was held at the convention hall connected to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. If Vegas is a “sinful theme park,” then the Rio can be described as a dumpster of depression therein. However, the convention hall was nice; silver linings or something. 

I’d be attending with a fantastic group of beautiful people: The Georgia Warband. A big shout out to my friend Josh Bennet for finishing 10th! My team all did great, and it was a lot of fun. I’m personally very happy with my 12th place finish and 4-0-1 record for my first LVO. 

As a preface, the exact details of matches are sometimes fuzzy or forgotten, so the reports are to the best that I can do with my awful memory.

The List

I had a few lists in mind for the event. I seldom take cookie-cutter lists and so indecision struck me hard; I like being a special snowflake. This was further compounded by being unable to practice while in COVID isolation. In the end I simply asked my wife, “what should I bring to LVO?” to which she responded, “lots of naked men.” Thus, Vostarg was selected with a list I had used variations of on a few occasions. 

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
– Lodge: Vostarg
– Grand Strategy: Master of the Forge
– Triumphs: Inspired

Auric Runemaster (130)*
– Command Trait: Master Priest
– Artefact: Volatile Brazier
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal
Auric Runefather on Magmadroth (360)*
Artefact: Axe of Grimnir
– Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient
Auric Runesmiter (120)*
Runic Iron
– Prayer: Ember Storm
Battlesmith (150)**
Artefact: Nulsidian Icon
Auric Flamekeeper (90)**
Auric Flamekeeper (90)**

10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Bladed Slingshields (150)***
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (160)***
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (160)***
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (160)****
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (160)****
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (160)****

Endless Spells & Invocations
Runic Fyrewall (40)
Molten Infernoth (40)

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Command Entourage – Magnificent
***Expert Conquerors
****Bounty Hunters

Additional Enhancements

Total: 1970 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 162
Drops: 12

This list would hinge on how many Bounty Hunters I would face, but I was confident there would be few. This proved to be a correct assumption, as the tournament had very few Bounty Hunters overall. Part of me feared the mirror match against a 3-BH Runeson Lofnir list. 

This Vostarg list operates by forcing opponents to make tough decisions where they often believe both are the bad choice. Killing the Vulkites – which must be done to capture points and slow damage – only counts up flamekeepers to make the remaining Vulkites more powerful. But focusing heroes, such as flamekeepers, means the Vulkites continue to hold objectives while still outputting high damage. Combine this with a Runic Fyrewall to block undesirable movement and a molten infernoth to pressure foot heroes/low wound units, and you have a list which forces opponents to be aggressive. 

But aggression only leads to death between fight on death, first-strike, and flamekeepers. This is a high damage list and these Vulkites can table an army that is not playing carefully. For any higher save units, the Runefather can be juiced up to -4/-3 rend swings. When the Runefather goes full bane mode there’s few things he won’t kill.

In play the most important pieces seemed to be the Expert Conquerors which often held objectives against swarms or monsters while forcing opponents to fight them. The Molten Infernoth is the true MVP though: for 40 points it did more than it should in nearly every game. 

Games Summary:

Game 1 vs. Karl Rohr, Slaves to Darkness: Cabalists – Major Victory 
Game 2 vs. Alexander Gonzalez, Soulblight Gravelords: Vyrkos – Draw
Game 3 vs. Cam Reid, Flesh-Eater Courts: Blisterskin – Major Victory 
Game 4 vs. Seth Monegue, Maggotkin of Nurgle: Blessed Sons – Major Victory 
Game 5 vs. Matthew Barker, Maggotkin of Nurgle: Blessed Sons – Major Victory

 Day 1: I Feel Chill, My Heart Says Otherwise

(Yes, that’s my heart rate on day 1)

Game 1 vs. Karl Rohr, Slaves to Darkness: Cabalists on The Presence of Idols

Opponents List: 

Faction: Slaves to Darkness
– Subfaction: Cabalists
– Triumph: Inspired
– Grand Strat: Take What’s Theirs

Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Manticore (265)*
– Mark of Nurgle
– Master of Magic
– Binding Damnation
– Daemonic Speed
Chaos Sorcerer Lord (120)*
Mark of Nurgle
– Chaotic Conduit
– Binding Damnation
Chaos Lord on Manticore (270)
Mark of Nurgle
– Flame Weapon
– Sword and Spear
Chaos Lord (115)*
Mark of Nurgle
– Spite-tongue Curse
– Reaperblade and Daemonbound Steel

Chaos Warriors (440)*
Mark of Nurgle
– Sword and Shield
– Eroding Icon
– Reinforced Once
Chaos Marauders (85)*
Mark of Nurgle
– Sword and Shield
Chaos Marauders (85)*
Mark of Nurgle
– Sword and Shield

Chaos Chosen (480)*
Mark of Khorne
– Reinforced Once

Endless Spells
Gnashing Jaws 70
Cogs 70

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total 2000/2000

Karl is a great guy and was running an awesomely kitbashed army. It was probably one of the coolest armies I’d seen at LVO. I sadly took no pictures during LVO, I don’t know why, but I assure you his army was dope. 

Karl’s list is interesting: two manticores! Reinforced Nurgle Warriors are also going to be no easy task to chew through. Luckily I am playing Fyreslayers so few things can’t be murderzoned.

I get the chance to put terrain on the board. I put it such that two large impassable pieces lock both players from the long-ways objective from their deployment. This allows me to make use of invocations to block lanes.

Karl outdrops me (as does everyone in the tourney) and takes the top of 1. This is what I meant by “tough decisions.” He, correctly, sees that I’m going to drop a Fyrewall to completely lock off the center of the map from him. He has no priest and no way to stop it if I take top of 1. So he has to do it. I proving grounds (PG) the bottom-right objective, as the left is blocked to him by impassable terrain. 

The only unit he can take the PG with is Chaos Warriors, forcing them onto it, while his Chosen and Manticores move up the middle. But I’ve deployed back far enough they cannot reach me. He plays it cautious and toes the objective. 

In my turn I auto-run EC vulkites to the upper-left objective and put two units of Vulkites on the center with a 5+ ward up from the battlesmith. My molten infernoth goes off and slaps some wounds on various things. 

Round 2 proves decisive for me. I push hard forward, wiping out his chosen down to one guy and holding the center, denying him the central objective. He counter punches and wipes out some vulkites, but that only powers up my army. He’s already behind and needs some big moves in round 3 to stage a comeback.

Instead, I take priority and my molten infernoth rolls doubles: this immediately kills both his manticores, one from full health, which was a very nice roll for me. Further, I finish off the remaining Chaos Warriors with some flamekeeper buffed vulkites. The game is basically over here, though he can still steal a couple tactics, there’s no way he can come back with no Chaos Warriors, Manticores, and one living Chosen. 

Fyreslayers nab a major victory, 28 – 14. 

Game 2 vs. Alexander Gonzalez, Soulblight Gravelords on The Prize of Gallet

Opponent’s List

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
Lineage: Vyrkos Dynasty
– Grand Strategy: Vampiric Conquerors
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Vampire Lord (140)***
– Command Trait: Pack Alpha
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Universal Spell Lore: Levitate
– Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Radukar the Beast (310)***
Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night (400)***
Lore of the Deathmages: Fading Vigour
– Lore of the Deathmages: Decrepify
Cado Ezechiar, The Hollow King (140)***
Spirit Gale
– Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions

10 x Dire Wolves (130)**
10 x Dire Wolves (130)**
20 x Deathrattle Skeletons (160)**
Reinforced x 1

1 x Corpse Cart with Balefire Brazier (80)***
20 x Grave Guard (280)*
– Great Wight Blades
– Reinforced x 1
1 x Vargskyr (110)*
1 x Vargskyr (110)*

Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Expert Conquerors

Additional Enhancements

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 137
Drops: 11

Alex is energetic and fun. He’s a good dude who offers me a Corsairs die at the start of the match. That dice proceeds to roll 6’s like no other! I’ve decided to stop using it, fearing it’s actually weighted. He is the first of two Corsair team members I play against.

Alex’s SBGL is exactly the type of list I fear: BH heavy and has a big, fast, disruptive control piece in Manny. Further, I have no way to shoot him off the board, the infernoth and axes will have to do the work.

I once again set up terrain, doing it in a way to block off lanes. He gives me the top of 1. I place the Fyrewall to block off his units, but don’t really pay attention and leave some spots open for wolves which come back to haunt me later. It pays to be precise with this thing! I spread out to lock out grave summoning from my lines and objectives while he activates the center objective. 

He pushes forward in the bottom of two and we just trade the center objective doing little damage to each other. Mannfred does hit my left side and kills 5 or 6 Vulkites, but takes a couple wounds from their fight-on-death. His flying skeletons (via levitate) are the real MVPs here. 

I’ll take the bottom of round two and activate my home objective. He moves to contain me fully within my starting zone with wolves on my right and basically everything that isn’t graveguard on my left and center. The vulkites, with fight on death, fight first, and a little tank manages to hold the lines.. Further, my nulsidian icon completely nullifies his offensive spellcasting and the center. This is a huge deal as it will enable my runefather to maintain high damage. I proceed to push onto the center objective and wipe out nearly everything on it, including Cado. The molten infernoth comes down and, in one of the best rolls of my life – rolled doubles into a lot of 6’s for d3 mortal wounds per 6, DUMPSTERS Mannfred. With him gone the game is now back in my favor, I’d say.

As round three kicks in, he takes the bottom and activates his own objective. The wolves are still flanking right and I clear them with the magmadroth as well as some Vulkites. His army has mostly begun being tabled except for some wolves and the grave guard still in the graves. 

However, in round 3 he gets a very long charge on his graveguard to not only get into a unit of Vulkites, but spread out across three units of Vulkites. This proves to be disastrous positioning for myself and he proceeds to kill them all with BH Graveguard. Still, I hold both side objectives going into four. But we are basically out of time. Both of us are playing slooooow armies and we don’t have time for another fourth round.

It’s a close game, we talk it out. We both will get our GS for certain. It’s hard to say who would win with the grave guard coming in like they did. I’m confident I can kill them, but its possible I don’t. As we can’t really agree – and indeed, it’s hard to even say what would happen! – and don’t have time to play it out, we just score what we know we can do (tactics and certain objectives). The result is a true draw! What a fantastic game. 

Alex is a super great guy, when my molten infernoth rolled that bonkers roll he kept whatever salt he may have had inside, which is better than I would have done! Great dude and lady luck paid off his sportsmanship with a dope charge later. He was also a fantastic general and I think he outplayed me for the most part. It was only by luck and vulkite power that I kept that game so tight.

Fyreslayers draw with SBGL. 

Game 3 vs. Cam Reid, Flesh-Eater Courts on Silk-Steel Nests

Opponent’s List

Army Faction: Flesh-eater Courts
Army Subfaction: Blisterskin
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Inspired

1 x Abhorrant Archregent (240)**
Spells: Spectral Host
1 x Crypt Infernal Courtier (130)**
1 x Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist (450)**
– General
– Command Traits: Hellish Orator
– Artefacts: Eye of Hysh
– Mount Traits: Gruesome Bite
– Spells: Deranged Transformation

9 x Crypt Flayers (540)*
10 x Crypt Ghouls (80)**
10 x Crypt Ghouls (80)**
10 x Crypt Ghouls (80)**

1 x Charnel Throne (0)

5 x Blood Knights (200)*
5 x Blood Knights (200)*

*Bounty Hunters
**Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: (2000/2000)

Cam’s list is an interesting one. Cam seems like a fun guy so I know this will be a fun match, which proves to be true! His list has three BH which will prove to be trouble for me as even the horses do 2 wounds. It’s also a list type I’ve never seen out of FEC and I’m not quite certain how it works to my own detriment. 

The Molten Infernoth did so much in the last game but would do nearly nothing in this one, often rolling no mortal wounds at all. I guess luck comes and goes.

Cam lets me set up the terrain and I do what I always do: block lanes that a large base wants to be in. I set up defensively knowing he has speed and hoping if he does take first to bait him into bad positions. 

Instead, he takes the bottom and I set up the usual castle with the battlesmith ward. He moves forward in the bottom and we both just get two points plus tactic. He gives me the top of two, sadly, and I push further up on the right to begin threatening those objectives. I accomplish little. Meanwhile on his turn he hits my left side HARD and wipes out my shield vulkites which take a few Flayers with them. He’s now a point ahead on VP. 

I take the top of three and punish him for his aggressiveness. My magmadroth kills his general terrorgheist. I also kill a few Flayers and push the center and right to threaten his home objectives. Sadly, his Flayers double activate (didn’t know they could) and kill my magmadroth as well as most of my vulkites on that side, though on death they do kill his courtier. 

On his turn the blood knights wipe out the vulkites threatening his objectives, taking some wounds in return. The decisive moment comes here though. He charges my line of foot heroes on the lower left. This allows me to combat-charge my vulkites that are behind the heroes into the flayers and pump their damage as well as activate their fight first. They kill the flayers down to one remaining. 

He takes the top of four and retreats the flayers as well as brings up blood knights to wipe out more vulkites. On my turn I’m pushing back on the left and center while the right side has stalemated. But by auto-running a flamekeeper with the movement rune I take a center objective though. Movement rune once again being clutch late game. Funny, I used it and almost forgot to add the movement (2” is important!). 

I win the priority roll into five which allows me to take more objectives and gain more tactics. At this point there’s no way for him to outcap me on anything and he has to choose between objectives or tactics. My final vulkite unit which has been sitting holding the bottom right the entire game is Expert Conquerors ensuring his blood knights can’t auto-run to cap any objectives. 

Another nail-biter against a death army. Cam played a great game. I feel like my ignorance of his army definitely hurt me here and I should have deployed more heavily to counter the flayers.

Fyreslayers nab a major victory, 27-26, a one point win. 

Day 2: My Brain Has Finally Stopped Functioning

I head into day 2 after a night of drinking, eating, not-sleeping, and spending too much money.

Game 4 vs. Seth Monegue, Nurgle on Realmstone Cache

Opponent’s List

Army Faction: Maggotkin of Nurgle
Grand Strategy: Spread Rampant Disease
– Triumph: Inspired

Gutrot Spume (170)*
Lord of Blights (150)*
Lord of Blights (150)*
– Command Traits: Overpowering Stench
– Artefacts of Power: Arcane Tome
– Spells: Plague Squall

Putrid Blightkings (500)*
Icon Bearer
– Sonorous Tocsin Bearer
Putrid Blightkings (500)*
Icon Bearer
– Sonorous Tocsin Bearer
Putrid Blightkings (250)*
Icon Bearer
– Sonorous Tocsin Bearer
Putrid Blightkings (250)*
Icon Bearer
– Sonorous Tocsin Bearer

1 x Feculent Gnarlmaw (0)

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 1970/2000

I’m confident going into this game against Seth. Fyreslayers generally don’t have issues with damage and there’s only one center objective to kill things on for two rounds. Seth’s cordial and we both seem burnt out from the previous day. Math becomes arduous for us both.

This game proves to be a quick one. Seth takes the top of one in order to prevent me locking him off the objective with a Fyrewall. A wise move considering which army he is playing. He pushes onto the center objective with two units of 10 blightkings, the other two units of five being off board at the moment. I push forward and simply take the center objective and knock a few wounds off some Blight Kings. I keep my walls up so he can’t deep strike into anything important. 

Both Nurgle players I had as opponents made the same mistake: counting their blight kings as two on objectives even when they are four wounds each (the bonus wound spell not being on them at that time or on a different unit). I didn’t know they only should count as one until after the tournament. This forced me to commit too many models in both games against them, but it’s not a huge deal.

I gave him the top of two and he pushed into my lines. Between a 5+ ward, fight on death, and a gigantic molten infernoth blocking a huge lane, he doesn’t get much done. He hangs some wounds on the magmadroth and kills some vulkites which fight on death to kill a couple blightkings and push wounds onto a hero. 

On the bottom of two I pop my flamekeeper buff, my Runefather +1 attack buff, the rend rune, and basically anything and everything else I have ready. This juices my army so massively that I kill all the remaining blightkings, I believe there were 18 or so on the board, and his general. Four damage swing Vulkites (BH + flamekeeper buffs) with four swings each is potent.

The game is basically over here. I’ve lost a unit of vulkites and he’s lost his general and both of his main blight king units. We talk it out and go grab a drink! 

Fyreslayers win a major victory, 26-16.

Game 5 vs. Matthew Barker, Nurgle on Nidus Paths

Opponents List

Allegiance: Maggotkin of Nurgle
Subfaction: Blessed Sons
– Mortal Realm: Ghyran
– Grand Strategy: Tend the Garden
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

The Glottkin (650)*
– Lore of Malignance: Rancid Visitations
Lord of Afflictions (230)*
– Command Trait: Overpowering Stench
– Artefact: The Splithorn Helm

10 x Putrid Blightkings (500)*
Reinforced x 1
2 x Pusgoyle Blightlords (250)*
10 x Rotmire Creed (130)*
10 x Rotmire Creed (130)*

3 x Nurglings (100)*

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 116
Drops: 1

Matt’s probably my most enjoyable opponent of the tournament. He’s a great dude and the second member of Corsairs that I play against. We both are clearly running on very tired hamsters at this point and will make frequent mistakes throughout the game. A couple of funny ones are me forgetting to even put my forge down and him choosing a tactic that can’t be accomplished (I let him pick a different one in like the charge phase and he lets me put the forge down when I notice something like round 3).  Mostly the game is just a fun one at this point. 

That said, Matt is probably the most skilled of any of my opponents (no disrespect to any of the others). While I usually find Nurgle an easy match for Fyreslayers, this one will prove difficult. It turns into a real chess match and Matt knows his army well. He also does not commit any of the mistakes the previous Nurgle opponent makes. He is crafty and knowledgeable, and this makes the game truly fun.

I place terrain and set the middle up with two large pieces exactly 6” apart to help block movement in the entire center of the board.

He gives me the top of round 1. I drop a Fyrewall to block the entire center of these terrain pieces ensuring his Glottkin and blightkings have to go around. I push hard to the top left, leaving one vulkite in the rear to block the nurglings. I also bring over some shield vulkites on the right to hold the objective. 

In the bottom of 1 he brings his flying units left along with his rotmire and Glottkin. His blightkings go right but won’t be able to affect too much yet. On the left the attack kills some vulkites but doesnt take objective due to the 5+ ward basically. Positioning here is weird for us both as the table has a gigantic dip in it making our models fall over.

At this point my brain is fried and I don’t recall the exact order of how things go down. But I can summarize by location.

On the upper-left: his Glottkin is a true thorn in my side and I can’t retreat and rally Vulkites because he’ll movement-phase charge. This means I have to sacrifice any units already in combat. Still, my magmadroth and the vulkites in the area, combined with flamekeeper kill everything but the Glottkin at first, and eventually do take down the Glottkin. His Rottmire hangs onto the objective a bit longer than I’d like but will fold. 

On the bottom-right: His blightkings fail a charge and can’t take the objective from my EC shield vulkites. They then make a charge and wipe out the vulkites. But by this point a bounty hunter group of vulkites makes its way there and nearly wipes out the blightkings. The remaining shield vulkites give enough wounds to hold the objective. 

On the bottom-left: He never gets a chance to threaten this objective and I teleport in round four a unit of vulkites from here across the board.

On the top-right: The vulkites I’ve teleported here will take this objective in round four or round 5. There’s not a lot he can do to stop this as the rotmire he ran back to stop this can’t hold out if they do get charged and can’t out-cap the vulkites. 

We talk it out and just due to objective holding power I take the win. A fantastic match! Not my closest, but probably the most fun.

Fyreslayers win a major victory, 25-19.


Some great games, some great players, and overall a fantastic experience for my first LVO. While I missed the 5-0, I went into this event with no expectations and would be happy with a positive finish. So ending 12th place with a 4-0-1 record had me thrilled. I nearly brought Lofnir, feeling it may have performed better, but it’s hard to argue with results.

The list itself ran great and while it was difficult to pilot, showed the true power of Vulkite Berserkers. If there’s one major downside, it’s how it makes you and opponents feel. I explained the flamekeeper before every single game. But when you use a combat round charge or fight on death with them, the opponents always feel like you have gotcha’d them. In fact, a lot of once per game abilities in FS feel that way and it’s difficult to talk about them all as there are so many.

The molten infernoth proves once again to be worth its weight in ur-gold. Killing Mannfred on its own was probably one of my favorite Fyreslayer moments.

The shield Vulkites proved to be a perfect inclusion. They were able to tank and hold objectives where axes could not. While axes can throw damage out on death, sometimes you just need to hold an objective with models, not with damage. 

Expert Conquerors was critical to the list’s success and is/was probably the most underrated part of this entire GHB. Its loss going into the new season means this list loses a ton of power, even without BH still around. 

Will I go to LVO again? Probably, but I hope it’s not in the Rio.

Tournament Review: Blood in the Snow

I recently asked Baz Norman Jr if he’d care to comment on his list from Blood in the Snow on 14th and 15th of January. I also asked him if he’d like to give a run-down of his games as part of that.

As always Baz’s response blew me away, and I thought it deserved an article in it’s own right. So thank you once again Baz!

Peter! Thank you once again for having me on the site. I attended Mark Ward’s Blood in the Snow at Hull’s Angels Gaming Club on the 14th and 15th January 2023. This was my second two day event already of 2023.

Army Faction: Daughters of Khaine
Subfaction: Khailebron
– Grand Strategy: Bloodthirsty Zealots
– Triumph: Inspired

Melusai Ironscale
– Command Traits: Zealous Orator
– Artefacts of Power: Arcane Tome
– Spells: Mindrazor
– Bonding: Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur

Morathi-Khaine (680)*
The Shadow Queen (680)*

Witch Aelves
– Death Pennant Bearer
– Hornblower
– Paired Sciansá

Witch Aelves (115)*
– Death Pennant Bearer
– Hornblower
– Paired Sciansá

Blood Sisters (420)*

Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur

1 x Horrorghast

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 1965/2000

I have hit the competitive scene a lot, running Daughters of Khaine (DoK) over the last year so running them again at this event was no surprise to anyone, but what might be a surprise was that it isn’t my usual list.

The list above is a slight variation to the DoK list I ran last weekend on the 7th and 8th January, where I had the absolute pleasure of playing alongside the legends that are Team England at Brotherhood III at Firestorm Games in Cardiff, on Team England’s South team.

So let’s delve into it…

SUB-FACTION – I love my manoeuvrability. I’ve said on previous posts that movement is king, and I wholeheartedly stand by this. Being able to get into positions to threaten enemy units, objectives and push for future turns is huge, so Khailebron was a staple.

GRAND STRATEGY – This list revolves around being in combat, so Bloodthirsty Zealots matched perfectly.

TRIUMPH – At 1,965pts, +1 to wound when I wanted to hit hard just worked.

Melusai Ironscale – Having Khailebron as the sub faction doesn’t make Blood Sisters battleline, and knowing I wanted to run 15 of them meant that it would have to be the Melusai Ironscale as general. The Command Trait was a given at Zealous Orator. Who doesn’t love a 4+ rally? My Artefact of power being Arcane Tome and knowing the spell, Mind Razor. The bonding to the Krondspine provides a +1 to cast within domination range.

Morathi – because its Morathi.

Witch Aelves – Two units of 10. These give a decent screen, but also with the run and charge, reroll failed battleshock test, and buckets of attacks, they can still threaten wounded units or chip wounds off when needed. Not to mention being objective grabbers whilst the rest of the army is doing the heavy lifting.

Blood Sisters – One unit of 15. Yes they’ve only got a 5+ save and the DoK 6+ ward save, but that’s where the negatives stop in my opinion. Three attacks base (+1 for the Gorgai), 3’s to hit, 3’s to wound, -1 rend, damage 1, and then the turned to crystal effect after the unit has fought for the first time in a phase. This attack profile alone is spicy, 46 attacks base from this unit. Now we add in and start tuning this unit to another level. Factor in the blood rites table, run and charge from the Ironscale, all out slaughter, mind razor and Fury of the Shadow Queen ability, this unit can suddenly end up having 61 attacks, 2’s to hit with exploding 6’s, 2’s to wound, -2 rend, and 2 damage a piece, then the crystal touch on top… not much can come away from this to be honest.

Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur
– You’ve probably all heard about it, 480 pts that can’t be auto killed, doesn’t allow retreats, is good, but not broken as there are some easy ways around it, but is still strong, especially coupled with the units above.

Horrorghast – I had points left over, easy to cast, can certainly help finish off units if you’ve fluffed a couple dice rolls and left a few models alive.

Battle Regiment – Works for this list, as I normally govern who takes 1st turn.


Game 1 vs Kruleboyz / Mike Chadderton and Head-on Collision.

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
Army Type: Kruleboyz
– Army Subfaction: Grinnin’ Blades
– Grand Strategy: Waaagh!
– Triumphs: Inspired

1 x Killaboss on Great Gnashtoof
1 x Killaboss on Great Gnashtoof (150)
1 x Killaboss on Corpse-rippa Vulcha (220)*
– Command Traits: Master of Magic
– Artefacts: Arcane Tome
– Mount Traits: Fast ’Un
– Spells: Nasty Hex

1 x Snatchaboss on Sludgeraker Beast (290)**
1 x Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)**
– Spells: Choking Mist
1 x Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)**
– Spells: Sneaky Miasma

10 x Hobgrot Slittaz
10 x Hobgrot Slittaz (80)*
10 x Gutrippaz (160)**
Wicked Hacka
10 x Gutrippaz (160)**
Wicked Hacka

6 x Man-skewer Boltboyz
3 x Man-skewer Boltboyz (120)**
3 x Man-skewer Boltboyz (120)**

*Battle Regiment
**Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: (1980/2000)

Mike (of Goonhammer fame – Peter) is a great player, we regularly converse over Twitter and I’ve had the pleasure of playing Mike before at Sheffield Slaughter 2022; one of my first bigger events. The result ended in his favour before, so he had that psychological benefit.

I deployed just over 24” away, and being a gentleman, I gave Mike turn 1.

Mike made a few little movement wiggles, buffed up his units with elixirs from the Swampcalla Shamans ready to receive the DoK threat.

My turn 1, and I moved my whole army up to threaten his position and to give him too many threats to deal with all at once if Mike got the priority for turn 2.

Turn 2 dice off. I won priority.

Taking the turn, I knew this was the opportunity I needed to hit his army hard, so I prepped for it. Mind Razored the Shadow Queen, withered key units, Black horrored a Killaboss on Great Gnashtoof, cast the Horrorghast and then at the end of the movement phase, teleported the 15 Blood Sisters 9” away from his Killaboss on Corpse-rippa Vulcha and a unit of Gutrippaz.

The shooting phase came and went, with a couple more wounds going onto the already wounded Gnashtoof. Big charge phase inbound. Started with Morathi who was 4” away; into the 2 Gnashtoofs. Krondspine going into a unit of Gutrippaz. 9” long bomb charge required for the Blood Sisters, needed 8 on the dice, due to the Blood Rites table, rolled a 9. Big charge phase ticked off.

The combat phase followed, having Morathi curb stomp the already wounded Gnashtoof, killing it, and making room for her to pile round into some tasty Boltboyz. I started the combat phase with the Blood Sisters to ensure maximum damage. The unit was split between the Vulcha and a unit of Gutrippaz, a couple of Blood Sisters went into the Vulcha, chipping 5 wounds off it, whilst the rest went into the Gutrippaz. Turned to Crystal, which is what I was wanting, all went into the Vulcha, killing it. I did take some damage from other units piling in, and with the misplay of the Horrorghast, 12” is huge! I lost 5 Blood Sisters to battleshock…. lesson here for sure lol

The dust settled from that turn and Mike calculated just over 1000pts lifted in one turn. Solid turn for me.

Being pinned in by Morathi, Krondspine and the Blood Sisters and losing all those units made it really hard for Mike to come back so he played for points and got what could. With me winning turn 3 priority again, the nail in the coffin. We ended the game 32-5 to DoK. So that’s 1 game a piece now Mike….until next time! 😉


Game 2 vs Sons of Behemat / Rob Anderson and Battlelines Drawn.

Army Faction: Sons of Behemat
Army Type: Breaker Tribe
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: Inspired

1 x Gatebreaker
– Artefacts: Amberbone Totem
1 x Gatebreaker (520)*
– General
– Command Traits: Monstrously Tough
– Artefacts: Vial of Manticore Venom

1 x Warstomper (450)**
1 x Warstomper (450)**
– Artefacts: Glowy Shield of Protectiness

*Bosses of the Stomp – Magnificent
**Bosses of the Stomp – Magnificent

TOTAL POINTS: (1940/2000)

So no “remove from battlefield and set up again”, but I was playing into the Sons of Behemat; an army that just wants to get in your face and ‘Triple H Pedigree’ slam enemies, which, I am weirdly okay with. I screened out with Morathi-Khaine, the Shadow Queen and the Krondspine. And with the Witch Aelves on the flanks, I gave turn 1 away as before.

Rob moved his 4 big boys up to capture objectives (table quarters in this mission), capped the centre terrain piece with Desecrate and charged one of his Warstompers into a unit of Witch Aelves I had on the flank. He rightfully killed them and chipped 3 wounds off Morathi-Khaine.

My turn 1, I chose Gaining Momentum and committed to lifting the giant that had just slapped Morathi-Khaine and the Witch Aelves. Turn 1 finished, and I had lifted 2 giants.

Turn 2 priority was won by Rob, where he continued with the points increase and reducing Morathi to 6 wounds, and did enough damage to reduce the Krondspine to level 1. Another 5 points for Rob. Seeing the work that happened from the DoK turn 1, turn 2 was no different.

Game 2 finished 26-10 to DoK.


Game 3 vs Skaven / Duncan Woods and Turf War.

Army Faction: Skaven
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumph: Inspired

– General
– Command Traits: Deranged Inventor
– Artefacts of Power: Esoteric Warp Resonator
– Spells: More-more-more Warp Power!

Warlock Bombardier (115)*
– Spells: More-more-more Warp Power!
Warlock Engineer (105)**
– Spells: More-more-more Warp Power!

Skryre Acolytes
Skryre Acolytes (75)***
Stormfiends (640)****
– 2 x Windlaunchers and Clubbing Blows
– 2 x Ratling Cannons and Clubbing Blows
– 2 x Shock Gauntlets and Warpstone-laced Armour


Warp Lightning Cannon
Warplock Jezzails (120)*
Warp Lightning Cannon (150)**
Warplock Jezzails (120)**

Doom-Flayer (65)****

1 x Gnawhol
e (0)
1 x Gnawhole (0)
1 x Gnawhole (0)

*Grand Battery
**Grand Battery
***Expert Conquerors
****Bounty Hunters

TOTAL POINTS: 2000/2000

Duncan is a loyal member of the GAF gaming group and has been to several of our events run by the Warrior Lodge, and every interaction with Duncs is….how can I describe it….erm….lets just say that he is a character and a gentleman to boot, so I knew this game would be laugh regardless.

Skaven is an army that I’ve not played a lot of to be honest, and with him rocking up with two Warp Lightning Cannons and 6 Stormfiends, I knew I had to be on him asap.

No surprises here when I gave Duncs turn 1 and with me deploying out side of his shooting range, he moved some units up to cap objectives. I was surprised that he didn’t go through the Gnawholes with his 6 Stormfiends and try to shoot off the Blood Sisters turn one….maybe he knew something I didn’t…? My turn 1 was simple, move up, and prep for later turns.

Turn 2 priority went in my favour, meaning that Morathi and the Krondspine could get into position for a charge. I also teleported the Blood Sisters for a supportive charge. Dice rolls went back and forth. Duncs killing his own general and bombardier through Skaven antics finished the game 28-9 to DoK.


Game 4 vs Hedonites of Slaanesh / James Mackenzie and The Silksteel Nests.

Allegiance: Slaanesh
Host: Lurid Haze Invaders Host (Host of Chaos)
– Mortal Realm: Ghur
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Inspired

The Contorted Epitome
– Command Trait: Feverish Anticipation
– Artefact: Oil of Exultation
– Lore of Slaanesh: Hysterical Frenzy

Sigvald, Prince of Slaanesh (205)*
Glutos Orscollion, Lord of Gluttony (440)*
Lore of Pain and Pleasure: Battle Rapture

22 x Blissbarb Archers
– Reinforced x 1
22 x Blissbarb Archers (280)**
– Reinforced x 1
5 x Hellstriders with Hellscourges (135)*

5 x Blissbarb Seekers
5 x Centigors (85)*
5 x Centigors (85)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
The Burning Head

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Expert Conquerors

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 125
Drops: 3

Having not played Hedonites of Slaanesh before, meant I had had to do some homework the previous evening. High manoeuvrability, lots of units, a lot of shots, buffs from Glutos, the hindrance that Sigvald can bring meant this would be new to me, not to mention the 8 available objectives.

I set up so that each of my 4 objectives, had models touching it and gave James turn 1. He was on me straight away, his Blissbarb Archers being screened by the Centigors lifted both units of Witch Aelves that were on either flank. I had to play super aggressive and hit his key units right from the get go, as I was behind on points. Morathi moved up to just behind a building, being 9” from Glutos and the Krondspine moved up ready to ‘eat’ from Centigors. Charges were made and the Warrior Lodge dice rolled well, meaning that my turn 1, Glutos was dead, the Krondspine was in combat doing its thing.

Turn 2 priority was won by James and he played big for points scoring 7 points his turn 2. Bottom of turn 2 the score was 9 to me, 12 to James…

Turn 3 priority was again won by James and he kept on racking up the points, although he was behind with model count, if he could keep scoring points though, that could see him win overall. Turn 3 finished 15 to me and 18 to James.

Turn 4 priority was won by….James again…I must have used up all my priority rolls on day 1! Again more points racking up in James’s favour finishing turn 4 on 20 to me, 24 to James.

Turn 5 priority came and went….finally in my favour. I managed to get into positions in the previous turns to eventually pin him in and lift the pesky Hedonites which were so quick. Game 4 finished 29-24 to DoK. Phew.


Game 5 vs Sylvaneth / Peter Twigg on Won’t Back Down.

Army Faction: Sylvaneth
Subfaction: Harvestboon
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumph: Indomitable

Warsong Revenant
– Command Traits: Spellsinger
– Artefacts of Power: Arcane Tome
– Spells: Treesong, Verdant Blessing

Celestant-Prime (325)*

Tree-Revenants (110)*
Revenant Seekers (705)**
Revenant Soulwarden
– 3 x Seeker Banner Bearer
– 3 x Seeker Hornblower

Spiterider Lancers (420)**
Spiterider Scion
– 2 x Spiterider Standard Bearer
– 2 x Spiterider Hornblower

*Battle Regiment
**Bounty Hunters

TOTAL POINTS: 1975/2000

A little birdy had mentioned to me that Pete wanted revenge from our last meeting from across the table where we were both on table 1, game 5. That last game was also played over Won’t Back Down so things felt similar, even if our lists were different.

Sylvaneth have historically been a challenging match up for me as they’re really nimble and I struggle to pin them down, so knew this match up would be tough, not to mention the fact that Pete had 9 Revenant Seekers and 6 Spiterider Lancers…oh and the Prime!

I did my thing with deployment ensuring that the Witch Aelves were snaked (pun intended!) round the Blood Sisters at 3” just in case the Prime was to come down turn 1, and gave Pete turn 1.

Against the Odds was chosen and he moved units up to threaten, but also to take objectives for a solid 5 VP round.

My turn 1, I did some hero phase shenanigans as usual and ran the buffed Blood Sisters up so they were 5” away from the 9 Revenant Seekers and their pool of 45 wounds. There was no redeploy which I was expecting, even though I had explained the abilities at the start. Charge phase started and the Blood Sisters failed their 5” charge. CP reroll… then I rolled a 8. Here we go! Spending a CP for all out attack and burning my triumph for +1 to wound saw them lift the Revenant Seekers to the wound, nothing more nothing less…. a big dent made.

Turn 2 I got the double turn, which allowed me to move up into position again ready for another charge. The Shadow Queen failed her charge, but the Blood Sisters got another charge off, this time into the 6 Spiterider Lancers but without the Mind Razor buff. Lifting 4 of them meant that Pete could retaliate and then in his turn nip through the woods far away…. Far, far away to the other end of the board…. i.e., my deployment zone lol.

I slowly managed to take the lead with a couple of points difference but at the cost of Morathi dying and we shook hands finishing the game 26-21 to DoK.

Peter: What a result. Thanks again to Baz for sharing his tournament review. Hopefully we can get him on again in the future.