Category Archives: Reviews

Orruk Warclans Battletome Review Part 1: Kruleboyz

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Allegiance Abilities

Woehammer Winner:
No question here, it has to be the faction-defining ability that is Venom Encrusted Weapons. If the unmodified hit roll of an attack is 6, that attack does a number of mortal wounds equal to the damage characteristic of the weapon. A Shaman can change the unmodified hit roll to a 5 and if a unit is wholly within 12” of a Sludgeraker, then 6s (not 5s) are an extra mortal wound on top. If you lean as hard as possible into this with 9 Big Yellers Boltboyz then with your 19 shots, you can expect 15 mortal wounds straight off before you even get to the damage stage.

Honourable Mention:
Synergising well with Venom Encrusted Weapons is the Kruleboyz Waaagh. For all the output that this army has, it cannot take a punch at all with Gutrippas only having a 5+ save and Boltboyz only having a 6+. This is where the Kruleboyz Waaagh can help as you can call it once per game when you general is chosen to fight and two other friendly units can fight with your general in the order of your choice. Potentially this means that you can move towards your enemy, fire off a volley with two units of Boltboyz that are getting buffs on the Venom Encrusted Weapons from the Shaman and the Sludgeraker and then charge these two units along with the Sludgeraker. Even in combat, 6 Boltboyz have 12 attacks that should do 6 more mortal wounds on top of whatever they did in shooting. Add in the pretty great combat of the Sludgeraker on top and topping 30 mortal wounds from those three units in two phases is very realistic.

Warclans

Woehammer Winner:
A few months ago, the winner would have been Big Yellers by a mile, but the simple deletion of the five words, “During the first battle round…” in the Grinnin’ Blades Warclan ability to take it from okay to great. It’s a total game-changer as it means that the Boltboyz can’t be sniped out by the enemy before getting to shoot. Now, with good screening, Boltboyz will be able to shoot back at (and probably cripple) anything moving close enough to attack the screen.

Honourable Mention:
In second place is Skulbugz…not really, they’re hopeless. Before Grinnin’ Blades, Big Yellers was the Big Dog due to two main features: Boltboyz can be battleline, removing the Troops tax of 540 points that Kruleboyz generals had to pay and, therefore, allowing Boltboyz to be taken in units of 9 so as to maximise the effectiveness of, for example, Unleash Hell. If there’s no shooting in your meta, then maybe Big Yellers is still the way to go, but with Daughters of Khaine Bowsnakes, Idoneth Turtles and Sharks and with Lumineth and Tzeentch coming shortly as of writing, my vote still goes with Grinnin’ Blades.

Command Traits

Woehammer Winner:


It’s a shame you can only take one command trait as all three of the Kruleboyz ones are pretty decent, with the winner being Supa Sneaky. Supa Sneaky allows you to infiltrate one Kruleboyz unit 9” away from an enemy unit immediately before determining who has first turn. A great combo with this command trait is a Breakaboss on Mirebrute Troggoth with the Fast ‘Un mount trait as you can place the Breakaboss 9” away and then move 5” in the hero phase (so no redeploy is possible) and smash face T1. This works best if you can outdrop your opponent, obviously, but even placing a screening unit of Hobgrots in your enemy’s face can really mess with their plans, especially to scupper plans of using Ironjawz Mighty Destroyer command ability (see below). Final point to make is that you can infiltrate but you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s best just to stay in your castle.

Honourable Mention:
A close second for command traits is Egomaniak, which allows the general to pass off wounds to a friendly unit on a 4+. While having quite a bit of output, the Sludgeraker isn’t the most robust hero ever, so being able to pass off wounds can help him last a bit longer, especially with the Smelly ‘Un mount trait to make him harder to hit. The recipient of these wounds can be any friendly unit, be it Hobgrots, Shootas allied in from Gitz or, for extra jank, into an Incarnate who will just soak those wounds up.

Artefacts

Woehammer Winner:
Sadly, it’s the Arcane Tome. Not only does this give an extra deny in a meta with lots of (Endless) spells, but the utility of a mystic shield on the Sludgeraker or the cast of Choking Mist to slow down your opponent can be key. You can even give it to the Breakaboss to put on Flaming Weapons on their clubs (this has been FAQd to be allowed).

Honourable Mention:
If you are going to take a faction-specific artefact, you’re probably taking Mork’s Eye Pebble for the once per game (really, GW?!) 5+ ward against shooting only for units wholly with 12” for the phase. With Grinnin’ Blades on the rise, this is less useful that what it was but if you’re taking a Mirebrute in a Command Entourage or a Warlord detachment (as you’re definitely taking a Sludgeraker in the commander slot of a Battle Regiment) then you may as well.

Mount Traits

Woehammer Winner:
With how slow the rest of the army is, Fast ‘Un is a great choice of mount trait, particularly in conjunction with your Sludgeraker moving into position for This One’s Mine as it is a hero phase move that prevents redeploys from your opponent. If you combine Fast ‘Un with Sneaky Miasma then that’s a 16” move in the hero phase that gives a threat range of 36” when considering the movement phase and charges. The only issue may be that your screens might be blocking your hero phase moves if you’ve gone with a Sludgeraker, so a Vulcha can get around this by flying over it.

Honourable Mention:
Smelly ‘Un is not only very appropriate from a lore perspective, but also combos very well with the command trait Egomaniak. If you manage to get off the Skareshields debuff from Gutrippas as well, add in Mystic Shield, Their Finest Hour and All out Defense, a pretty flimsy character is now -1 to hit from Smelly ‘Un and -1 to hit from Skareshields, meaning that All out Attack does nothing. They are on a 3+ save, ignoring up to Rend -2 due to the +3 to saves and anything that does go through can be passed off to a nearby unit on a 4+. If you really want to, you could also throw in an Amulet of Destiny for a 6+ ward as well before wounds are passed off.

Spell Lore

Woehammer Winner:


There are five good options for Kruleboyz, which is frustrating as most of the time it’s more efficient for Shamans to be giving out poison rather than casting and there are no casting bonuses available without making too big of a concession elsewhere. The winner is Sneaky Miasma, which allows a Kruleboyz monster (probably a Sludgeraker and/or a Rogue Idol) to move in the hero phase. Combined with Fast ‘Un and a normal move, even the relatively sedate Sludgeraker can move 24” and then charge another 12” or run another 6”. With the Grand Strategy picks below, this speed can be useful. If you go for a KillaBoss on Vulcha, this could be a whopping 42” before charging or running!

Honourable Mention:
With Nighthaunt on the rise and Daughters of Khaine being able to get to a 5+ ward then Nasty Hex is very handy. It can be particularly useful by the time a Shaman or a unit that would receive a buff is in combat as poisons or elixirs can’t be given out or received by units in combat. While the output if lower than with poison, taking away that ward save mostly balances that out.

Grand Strategies

Woehammer Winner:
If book Strategies and Battle Tactics are being used, then Waaagh! can be a potential winner as you just need to have your general or a friendly Battleline unit in your enemy’s territory at the end of the game. If you have Fast ‘Un on your general and Sneaky Miasma on a caster, one command point for auto-run can result in a 30” move by a Sludgeraker, which should be more than enough to cover the distance needed.

Honourable Mention:
If it’s GHB only for Strategies and Battle Tactics then Defend What’s Ours is a good choice as Kruleboyz are a castle army, even if you do need to be, to some extent, a (slow) mobile castle. Some battleplans are harder to do this with than others but at least half are do-able and your enemy can’t be in your territory if they’re dead!

Battle Tactics

Woehammer Winner:
Again, there is one good option in the book, which is Take Dat, Ya Suckers! This is achieved if you force your opponent to allocate 10 wounds or mortal wounds (i.e. after ward saves) and you allocate fewer than 10. If you’re not in combat and you have Boltboyz, this should be relatively straight forward and is a good choice for one of the first three rounds along with Against The Odds and Desecrate Lands.

Honourable Mention:
If you have chosen Big Yellers, then Boltboyz will be Battleline and Galletian Veterans, making Head-to-Head fairly straightforward, but assuming you’ve taken my advice and chosen Grinnin’ Blades, then Gaining Momentum is a good choice. Not only is killing a unit relatively straightforward with all of your output, the need to control more objectives will help encourage you forward as it’s very easy to hold back, stay in the castle, table your opponent…and lose as you only took objectives turn 4 or 5.

Warscrolls

Woehammer Winner:

There is only one winner here and it’s not Boltboyz but the Swamp Donkey Derek himself, the Sludgeraker. From a combat perspective, the Sludgeraker is the gift that keeps on giving, with my opponents often looking aghast as the pile of mortal wounds builds up. If you double-down on the combat potential and give the Sludgeraker the Shaman poison buff then he’ll really go off. You can probably expect 10 mortal wounds across the attacks, with typical Kruleboyz spikes doing up to 15 mortal wounds from the first three attacks (if Flaming Weapons is also used). Some lists have been successful with 3 Sludgerakers and an Incarnate for literally monstrous output. However, on top of that, the Sludgeraker adds one to the number of mortal wounds caused on 6s whenever a unit attacks wholly within 12”, making it an auto-take for every Kruleboyz army.

Honourable Mention:
This is going to be Boltboyz isn’t it? Actually not! Maybe I’m being a little obtuse here as Boltboyz are really key units, but the next most important unit for winning games (not necessarily for killing your enemy) are Hobgrots. At 80 points each for ten grenades that hit on 4s, wound on 3s have rend -1 for 1 damage, they’re a bargain. They even roll a huge amount of dice in combat, even if they don’t end up doing much more than a wound on most occasions. The reason they are so good is that they die cheaply. Yes, Gutrippas have 2 wounds each and a 5+ save compared to 1 wound and a 6+ save, but on the table, two units of Hobgrots for 160 points are much more of a speed bump to an enemy that a single unit of Gutrippas for 180 points. They can also be in more places at once for scoring objectives.

Final Thoughts

At the time of writing, Kruleboyz are among the lowest performing three factions in the game with the other two (Gitz and Ogor Mawtribes) both due a 3rd edition book relatively soon. It does feel like there’s more to the model and unit range to come, e.g. where’s the light cavalry harassment unit that would fit well with the lore and what the hell is with Gutrippas being 180 points when Phoenix Guard are 170?! However, they do have a lot of tricks and are fun to play, particularly when the stars (or should that be swamps?) align and you spike the 6s with your Boltboyz, removing threats like Nagash or Alarielle or even Archaon in one phase or even one activation.

Next up will be Part 2 of 4 of the Orruks book, Kruleboyz bigger, meaner and more successful older brothers: Ironjawz.

Duclus Photographic Light Box – Review

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With my older lightbox being very cheap and nasty, I thought it was time to upgrade. I wanted a lightbox with good space, adjustable lighting and easily stored. Step in the Duclus Photographic Light Box!

This lightbox is available from Amazon (affiliate link) in two sizes 30cm or 40cm. The version I purchased and reviewed is the 30cm.

Delivery and Packing

The box

Available on Amazon, the lightbox can be ordered through Prime for next day delivery, and so delivery is always good.

The lightbox itself comes inside its own case which is no more then 4-5cm thick allowing it to be stored very easily. The case itself feels good quality as well with a zip to make sure everything stays inside.

The storage case, and my kitchen hob

What’s Inside?

Inside the case you’ll find six coloured backgrounds, a light diffuser (an excellent addition), lighting controls and the lightbox itself.

Coloured backgrounds

Most photography will only require you to use the white and black backgrounds but the other four could be useful as well, just perhaps not as widely used.

Lighting controls

The lighting controls are simple with three buttons, on/off, increase and decrease for the light intensity. One downside is that the lightbox does not come with any plug so you’ll have to use a phone charger or a USB port to plug the lightbox into.

Set up

The lightbox is relatively easy to set up, unfolding nicely, with a back panel that lifts up to hold its shape. The diffuser attaches using velcro around the edges, then you simply slip in the coloured background you want to use.

The box with the diffuser attached
The light ring

Working on a series of led lights, these are perfectly placed at the top of the box, you also have a port hole which allows you to photograph objectives through from above.

Port Hole view
The complete set up with the white background

Results

As you can see below, using my DSLR camera you can get professional looking shots from what is a relatively cheap piece of equipment.

Opinion

For £37.99 I’m impressed by the quality of the lightbox, I am disappointed in the lack of a plug and the requirement to be near some kind of ISB port but otherwise it ticks all the boxes.

Age of Sigmar – Nighthaunt Battletome Review – Part 1

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Nighthaunt Tome

Nighthaunt, what makes them great?

Ghosts? More ghosts? And criminals dying, coming back, dying again, coming back again and bloodthirsty ghosts. Nighthaunt is a bunch of spectral killers in search of those who dare to draw breath in their sovereign lands. When these ethereal hosts fall upon their prey, an eternity of cruelty and horror is bound to follow.

Nighthaunt is a very hard army to master, they are all about tactics and playing the board. Before this new Battletome, we always had to stay within 12″ of heroes to gain benefits, but no more! If you like to play an army that can become very tanky and move around with great speed, dish out nasty damage and look amazing, then the new Nighthaunt is for you!

So let’s get into it.

What’s in the book and what will we be covering?

  • Beautiful artwork
  • Lore
  • Painting Guides
  • Army Processions
  • Allegiance Abilities
  • Army Enhancements
  • Artifacts of Power
  • Spell Lores
  • Path of glory
  • Warscrolls

All spells and enhancements will be ranked according to my own personal preference and opinion, but let me know what you think in the comments below!

There will be some spoilers below

Skirmish Games – A Guide to Infinity

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Where Malifaux sits more in the Historical/Fantasy setting, Infinity is more of a futuristic/Sci-Fi game with the tagline of “it’s always your turn! Set a few hundred years into the future, humanity has spread to the stars, met new life and new civilisations and then proceeded to shoot them.

What is Infinity?

Infinity is a skirmish game with between 7-10 models (although dependant on faction you can have between 4-20 models). Each player activates their models with order tokens, and uses all these tokens before the opponents turn. A model may activate more than once as long as you have orders available.

Are there any Unique Mechanics?

Infinity has “Private” and “Public” information. Some models have abilities such as camouflage, which is represented by a token, or just a note stating where it is. Some figures can pretend to be other models. Both of these examples demonstrate information termed private. Revealed models are public and your opponent can see their stats if they request it. Therefore you may not know everything about an opponents force until they have fully revealed it. While this is powerful, you can also do the same.

Infinity also has Automatic Reaction Order (ARO), where your models can react in your opponents turn. As everything happens simultaneously, you can choose the most opportune moment to strike. Do you risk running out to the objective and in doing so, risk take fire from your opponents force?

How easy is it to get into?

Veteran players can sign up to be a “Warcos”, these players will demo games and help new players into the game. Infinity also has two versions currently, Code One and 4th Edition. 4th Edition is the full ruleset, whereas Code One is a slimmed down ruleset which can be used to get into the game.

Rules can be downloaded directly from the Infinity Website. Like a lot of current games, there is also an app for army building, which also links rules to the wiki.

Individual figures retail at around £11 each, with six figure starter sets at around £45. Yearly starter sets containing two forces plus some scenery cost around £100, and there are more complete army sets being released at around the £70 mark. These are usually 300 points of models which makes up a typical force.

Pro’s and Con’s

Pro’s

  • Amazing Miniatures
  • Both players always playing and can act in each others turns
  • Objective based play encourages balanced lists

Con’s

  • Rules can take time to learn
  • Slightly higher initial cost than other similar games.

Summary

Infinity is a fun game which will keep you thinking. Can you see your opponent? should I shoot or dodge? and why didn’t I take a Doctor!?

There is a healthy tournament scene, and Corvus Belli make effort to keep older models relevant with refreshed rules. Regular model updates and a wide range of different styled factions and sub-factions means there is something for everyone.

Age of Sigmar General’s Handbook 2022 – Death Points Changes

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Below are the summaries of all the points changes for all the Death factions.

Soulblight Gravelords
Ossiarch Bonereapers
Flesh-eater Courts
Nighthaunt

Age of Sigmar General’s Handbook 2022 – Chaos Points Changes

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Below are the summaries of all the points changes for all the Chaos factions.

Hedonites of Slaanesh
Skaven
Slaves to Darkness
Maggotkin of Nurgle
Blades of Khorne
Disciples of Tzeentch
Beasts of Chaos

Age of Sigmar – Sylvaneth Battletome Review

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Limited Edition Sylvaneth Battletome

Sylvaneth have been a troubled faction for a while in Age of Sigmar – a beautiful but relatively small model range, endlessly tweaked faction terrain rules (and let’s not get started on transporting those wyldwoods) and almost all competitive lists lists built around the dominant ‘Warsong Bomb’ combo.

In no uncertain terms, the new book changes everything. That’s almost literally true. So without this review becoming a novel-length guide to the entire faction, I’m going to try and focus on the biggest changes and offer a broad perspective on what it looks like Sylvaneth are now, in terms of play-style, predicted strength overall, and the biggest winners/losers from the Tome.

A quick note on ordering, based on some learnings from our last Tome review. And we feel it actually makes sense to start with army abilities and sub-faction rules, before diving into units, then tackling Enhancements (so you can understand who they make sense on) before finishing up with the Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics.

QUICK LINKS

Sylvaneth Battletome Review

ARMY RULES

Sylvaneth strike from the trees

There’s a crazy amount of synergy in this Battletome, and it all starts with and revolves around Places of Power.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

Start of a battle you pick 3 terrain features wholly outside enemy territory and they become ‘overgrown terrain features’. By default, each Sylvaneth unit within 9″ can regen 1 wound. Where it gets interesting is how this combines with all sorts of rules – but the next army rule is From The Woodland Depths, which has two main effects.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

The first is essentially the same as the old Walk the Hidden Paths allowing one unit wholly within 9″ to teleport to within 9″ either an overgrown terrain or wyldwood – with two provisos. Standard teleport rules apply (not within 9 of an enemy unit) and crucially, the terrain piece can’t be in engagement range of an enemy unit.

For the rest of the review we’ll refer to these combined teleporting restrictions as ‘Walking the Paths restrictions’. And we’ll use the shorthand ‘within terrain range’ to mean ‘wholly within 9″ of an overgrown terrain or awakened wyldwood’.

Overall this is more flexible than before but does mean a clever opponent can limit your teleporting options by careful positioning.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

The second effect is Strike and Fade, which is potentially huge, even if it requires some careful set up – once per turn, a Sylvaneth unit that has fought can immediately teleport, with Walking the Paths restrictions. This is potentially very tasty, allowing glass-hammer units to fight with impunity, or as a way to radically reposition a tanky slow unit, etc etc – I expect we’ll all be having lots of fun with this one.

Finally, Verdant Blessing remains, unchanged – a cast 6, 18″ spell to summon a wyldwood outside of 3″ of the usual objects.

A really tactical and interesting new addition are Seasons of War, which you can essentially think of as modifiers to the terrain rules, and therefore apply to units wholly within 9″ unless stated otherwise. These are added to your list, and you obviously just pick the one.

The Burgeoning gives units that didn’t charge a Ward of 6. Can’t complain. The Reaping adds 3″ to the terrain effect range – probably really useful given the average big base size of sylvaneth units, and allows you a bit more latitude. In many ways I can see this being my go to, as being slightly outside of ‘wholly within’ could ruin a whole turn’s worth of shenanigans.

The Dwindling allows for a hero phase re-roll of 1 cast, 1 unbindand 1 dispel – as in, 1 of each. Obviously strong given how good Sylvaneth magic is. Lastly, Everdusk reduces terrain effect range by 3″ but in exchange you get exploding 6s to hit in melee. I feel like the 6″ range is going to be too restrictive for this to be reliable, but you’ll see that there are a few ways to make certain units count as overgrown, which does make this more flexible than it appears at first glance.

Overall, I love these rules, they’re easy to remember, are all upside, and give you a meaningful tactical layer.

GLADES

Glades return (obviously) but follow the 3rd edition paradigm of being streamlined and fluffy. And good!

Oakenbrow makes Treelords battleline and for bracketing purposes you halve the damage taken by all of the biggest trees – so also Treelord Ancient and Durthus. Durthi? In the new GHB meta, this is an interesting option to avoid giving up extra damage against your battleline units and allows you to lean into a tanky Ent list, which is awesome for obvious reasons.

Gnarlroot remains the magic pick of choice, allowing a once per turn cast on 3d6 removing one dice while in terrain range. Given some of our spells get better with higher values, this combined with the potential re-roll from Dwindling could be very nice.

Heartwood sees a big change – now it makes Kurnoth battleline, and allows you to pick 3 enemy units that your whole army gets +1 to hit against. This is a great CP saver and even though, as you’ll see, I’m not totally sold on Kurnoth Bows, it means they could make sense as MSU in this Glade.

Ironbark now gives you a command ability usable on a unit in engagement range of an enemy that has charged – on a 2+ that unit suffers d3 mws. A nice punishment for daring to charge your lovely stickmen – and here’s the kicker – it can be used multiple times, but not on the same enemy unit. Obviously fairly useless against horde units but the chance to kill a mid-wound model and deny its attacks could add up over the course of the game – overall, I think this is too niche to be taken competitively.

Winterleaf leans intro a control playstyle, and prevents enemy units from falling back. And if combined with Everdusk (which is a cool combo, and kind of a shame the others don’t offer a combined effect) that unit also can’t be removed – as in, they can’t be teleported somehow away either. Teleporting shenanigans are becoming more prevalent in the game so this is (situationally) more useful than it first appears.

Dreadwood plays clearly into Spite-revenants – making them battleline and allowing you to use Walk the Paths and/or Strike and Fade twice but with the proviso that one of those times it must be Spite-revs. I can’t really think of a reason this isn’t the weakest Glade going, but, y’know, if you really love Spite-revs and want to play more of a horde Sylvaneth, this is how you do it.

Harvestboon allows EACH unit of the new flying cavalry to make a pre-game move of 12″ – and they’re battleline in it. You will see that Spite-riders have a strike first effect, meaning if you can fit into a one drop, this Glade allows you to set up an alpha strike of as many bug cavalry as you want, all fighting before any enemy unit can retaliate. Risky but potentially hilarious!

SPELLS

Sylvaneth are a faction who’ve always had a pretty great time with magic, and it’s better than ever now.

Throne of Vines (casting value 9) heals 1 wound to the caster at the end of each phase until next hero phase – so a minimum of 6 and a max of 12! It’s a ‘heal over time’ so you trade immediacy for reliability. At CV 9 it’s a great candidate for using the Vesperal Gem on (more on that below).

Regrowth (18″ – cv 5) heals d6.

Dwellers Below (12″ cv 7) rolls a dice per model in a unit and does mws on a 5+. Could be fun now we’re more likely to see more, bigger units in general. As you will see, there are similar spells you can combo this with to potentially decimate big units – although part of me would like to see a little variation in effects, and something more targeted towards smaller units.

Deadly Harvest (3″, cv 6) does d3 mws to each unit in range. Not amazing but fine for combat-casters, of which we have a couple.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

Verduous Harmony (18″, cv 7) brings back a model to a unit, or d3 models to tree/spite revs or dryads. See a healing theme emerging yet?

Treesong (16″, cv 7) is a great new spell that gives any unit in terrain range but specifically of wyldwoods an extra rend. Shame it’s not any terrain, but still potentially very strong, as in the right situations you could improve the rend of multiple units at once with this.

Overall, it’s a useful, fluffy and powerful lore with some fun effects. At first glance it seems like it wants you to lean into big, tanky, multi-wound units to make the most from it.

ENDLESS SPELLS

I’m over the moon with what GHB22 is doing for endless spells in general and Sylvaneth’s fall in line, offering some excellent, highly synergistic effects at a new bargain price that means *gasp* you will actually use them.

Spiteswarm Hive (40 pts) got brought in line with 3e rules but still rocks – you choose between two effects, each applying to one unit wholly within 9″ in the hero phase – +3″ to move and charge or reduce rend by 1. Buut both go off on a 2+, annoyingly again – you’ve already paid the points, summoned the spell…and it can still fail on you? Bogus!

Gladwyrm (50 pts) is the same but well costed now – d3 mws on a 3+ to owt within 1″ AND heals d6 on a 3+. Get that in the mix and it will add tonnes of value to a melee.

Skullroot (60 pts), one of the damn coolest looking endless spells in the game, adds d3 units to a failed battleshock test AND, when it flies (8″) over an enemy unit, and any unit within 1″ of the tree, it does d3 on a 2+, or d6 if that unit is within 6″ of a wyldwood. There are plenty of opportunities for enemies to be near wyldwoods, but even if they’re not, this has clear and obvious value.

I mean, you’d be tempted to take all 3 right?

Sylvaneth Lady of Vines

UNITS

Heck, there’s an awful lot to cover here. Lots of varied stat lines, abilities, and huge changes to the old book. Again, we’ll keep this high-level – don’t want to miss the wood for the trees – (SORRY I HAD TO) in the interests of not just transcribing the entire book.

Let’s start the A-mama herself, the Beetle-Queen, Ol’ Thunder Thighs, Alarielle. She’s good now – potentially really good – but with provisos. Talon of the Dwindling, Swirling Glowspites and her spell, Metamorphosis remain the same, but Lifebloom has seen a crucial glow up – now, after she’s been killed, she comes back on a 6+battle round number, but you only get one attempt so choose when to try it wisely. She’s got a great 1 shot 2/2/-2/6 bracketing shooting attack, and the beetle horns are decent in melee.

Alarielle the Everqueen

The other great new addition to her scroll is a once per game ‘turn everything into Overgrown’, which obviously has big synergy implications.

Basically, Alarielle does a little bit of everything now, and seems very viable to me as a lynchpin piece that operates in all phases. If she gets shot off turn 1 by pesky Stormfiends or what have you, at least she can now come back to play in the later rounds.

A big investment at 840 – but if you subtract the cost of the best unit she can summon, that’s more like 590. You’ll need to build your list around her, but a very pleasing glow up from her previous incarnation. Difficult to gauge whether she’ll be competitively viable – 16 wounds on a 3+ with no built-in after-save can still be liquified by plenty of things without too much effort – but I think with careful use she can contribute meaningfully to a list.

The Lady of Vines

Her (strong independent literally used to be her)right hand – The Lady of Vines – is an exciting alternative. A good, tanky wizard who can chip damage at range and hold her own against smaller stuff in melee, her main incentives are a once per game Dryad summon – although it’s super frustrating to me that it goes off on a 2+ and is therefore guaranteed to fail when you really need it – and a 12″, CV 7 spell to give an aura of a 5+++, which is potentially huge. She also counts as Overgrown terrain but with a 9″ range, allowing her to be a mobile, much-cheaper alternative to her ‘mum’.

Drycha remains largely unchanged, functioning as a harassment piece who buffs spite-revenants with a +1 to their wound rolls. But I still don’t see why you’d ever really want to run them even with that. She still offers plenty on her own merits, as a mixed range, 1 cast wizard with a super swingy warscroll spell that does MWs based on the difference between your roll and their leadership. Her notable strength is the ability to double either her melee or ranged output to 20 attacks, and fish for mws on 6s, which means flexibility, good horde clearing potential, and a potentially great Unleash Hell candidate. Hard to see how the tree-mech competes with the more specialised Big Trees, but her versatility and speed (9″) does mean she’s nice and flexible.

Warsong Revenant also remains pretty much the same, losing his knowledge of the whole lore but remaining a very potent wizard (the only straight source of +1 to cast) with 2 casts and his great warscroll spell, rolling dice equal to the casting roll and doing mws on 5+. The 4 up ward will keep him hanging around, and as you will see, there are plenty of Enhancements that will find a great home in him. He also has a 12″ +1 bravery to friendlies and -1 to enemies aura which, weirdly, kinda combos well with Drycha’s warscroll spell – and also the Skullroot. Bravery buffs are always welcome too as a way to just avoid having to use Inspiring Presence.

The Arch Revenant gained a huge ability, and nothing else on his scroll is worth a damn, including his melee output – but it doesn’t matter. He now gives +1 wound to Kurnoth (ANY attack) within 12″, and has a CA to give one unit of them +1 attack. If you take any Kurnoth – who, spiler alert, are now amazing – you’d be mad not to bring him too. A fantastic buff piece now with another 4+ ward to help him survive sniping attempts.

Durthu remains a beat-stick – in the truest sense of the term! Well, more of a beat-wood but that has its own problems…. anyway, he’s the big melee hero. The main change to him is that his ‘fight last’ ability now counts as a unique monstrous action BUT goes off on a 3 now. So less swingy, but unfortunately means you can no longer try to do it twice with two Durthus. Still great overall as he dishes out the damage, walks the spirit paths himself (so freeing up the generic version) and gets an extra attack for being in terrain range.

The Treelord Ancient is basically unchanged, which isn’t exciting, but his once per game auto-wyldwood has bigger implications before due to our improve army rules, and he’s the tankiest wizard yet – bar Alarielle – who is no slouch in melee with a few -1 d2 and 2 -2 rend 3d attacks.

The generic Treelord is also largely the same, buuuut has one really cool new ability called ‘Lash and Tangle’ – if he hits something in melee, it can’t pile in. So, charge him into the ‘end’ of an enemy unit so only one of them is in weapon range of him, fight, dish out a fair bit of hurt – and boom, only 1 or 2 can slap back. Against a bigger unit, this is potentially HUGE if you position him right.

The Branchwych remains unremarkable save for having the Warsong’s spell and basically being our cheapest wizard. Which isn’t a bad thing to be in such an elite army – unexciting but fills a role, so can’t complain.

Gossamids! Much has been made of their d3 mortals on 6s to hit ability but, with 2 shots each, that’s 2 mws on average and not much else on top given they have no rend. They exist, frankly, to be an annoying screen, with their ability to fly away on a 2+ after Unleashing Hell – again, guaranteeing them to hover in place when you most need them to buzz away. They’re also flimsy, and will die to almost anything with so much as a rock to throw. I’m not saying they’re bad – against predominantly melee armies, the ability to fly up, do a few lucky MWs, move-block and fly ‘safely’ away once charged could be very annoying. But at 220…it seems like a big risk to me.

OK, let’s talk ‘true’ battleline: Tree Revenants, and their woodier counterparts, the Drayds. The Revs have 2 wounds each now but still die to a mean look. Their Tree cousins teleport still (which is always useful and a great scoring vector) and get a free All Out A/D which is fine. Dryads picked up a -1 to hit and -1 wound while within terrain range, which is kinda funny and could make for a frustrating screen, but they do literally nothing else other than hope for cold rolls from your opponent. And require careful positioning – a big blob could be nice but fitting it wholly within terrain range makes it much less appealing.

Spite Revenants, if you were paying attention in the Glades section, are no longer ‘true’ battleline. And they still don’t excite me, with 6s to hit doing a mortal and 3 attacks each, that’s 2 MWs (and again, not much else) per activation. Now, there are ways to situationally buff them a fair bit by adding rend while near a terrain, but in all honesty, the amount of set up required to make them put out meaningful stats is going to be too difficult or unfavourable in the vast majority of circumstances. They’re kinda cheap though and worth running if you want lots of little bodies accompanying Drycha. Maybe.

Kurnoth of all variety fare much better, and frankly are going to be hard not to take. Scythes points went up to match swords at 250, and do -3(!) rend for 2D. Swords get -1 but do their 2d on 6s to hit. Bows, bafflingly, still hit on 4s but have flat 2 damage and are slightly cheaper. So you have some tactical decisions to make – for my points, bows are out in the cold at the moment as you’re paying a large premium for how tanky they are – which is great for swords/scythes who are also standing there on objectives dishing out pain. But statistically the bows do very little without some buffing and support – and while useful for MAYBE sniping out a support hero, there are just much better ways in the book to do that.

Also, all flavours of ‘Noth have an updated ‘Envoys’ ability – when the ‘Noth is contesting an objective, they make friendly units in objective range also count as being within 6″ of terrain. More mobile synergy!

The new Bug Cavalry are also wonderful. Tanky, fast, and they hit hard with a good number of attacks, -2 for both with the Seekers having d2. The main difference is the Spite-Riders have fight first, while the Seekers can revive something with up to 5 wounds on a 2+. So yep, chances are they can bring back a Kurnoth model per turn, per unit. Both flavours heal their own models back to full health if they kill a model, have a 6″ pile in and rally on a 5+. So they’re survivable, flexible, hit decently hard and fill a niche Sylvaneth were otherwise sorely lacking. Very impressive unit.

Overall, a huge glow up, which was expected. There’s speed, tankiness, some good reliable output and a number of fun plays. There are some outright swings and misses – Spite Revs, Dryads – and some situationally good but too costly (and therefore risky), like Gossamids and maaaaaaybe Alarielle – or that require maybe too much set up (Dryads…again) and potentially Treelords. But I think overall there’s multiple viable lists in here.

COMMAND TRAITS

Gnarled Warrior makes your save unable to be modified, up or down. Obviously application on a 3+ Durthu or such! Lord of Spites reduces a unit’s attacks by 1 if it finishes a pile in within engagement of the hero – another great way to boost survivability. They’re both good, but Warsinger might be even better – adding 3″ to units within 12″ of the hero at the start of movement phase. Combine with Spiteswarm for 11″ move Kurnoth with a 10″ average charge, don’t mind if I do.

Wizard traits also run hot – Nurtured by Magic heals a unit d3 wounds within 18″ on a successful cast. Certainly not a bad incidental source of healing. Potentially HUGE is Warsinger, allowing a wyldwood to be where you measure the effect of a spell from – yeah, any wyldwood. This allows you to potentially be in spell range from turn 1, punish people trying to block your teleports, and all sorts – really interesting plays available here. Radiant Spirit ignores spell effects on a 4+, which seems more niche to me but is still a good counter to magic heavy armies if you pop this on a Treelord Ancient or you really want to ensure your Warsong remains alive and kicking, etc.

Hero wizards get Acorn of the Ages for an auto-wood within 12″. Luneth Lamp gives a wizard the option to banish an invocation with +2 to the roll – this is massively niche! Why you would ever take this unless you’re playing a casual grudge match against your invocation loving friend, I don’t know. Unless it’s a sign we’re somehow entering an invocation meta…. Preventing this page from being a complete waste of a dryad is the returning Vesperal Gem, allowing a once per turn auto-cast that can’t be unbound, but a 1 on a d6 roll does d3 mws to the user.

ARTEFACTS

Other heroes can choose from Greenwood Gladius, which adds d3 attacks to a melee weapon. I can the whispers of ‘Durthu’ on the wind…. Crown of Fell Bowers picks a unit within 6″ and gives all units +1 wound against it. This would be decent if it was just the hero, but all units? Nice! Seed of Rebirth rolls a d6 when the hero dies – on a 2+ they survive with d3 wounds and all other damage negated. With all the healing Sylvaneth has access to, this could be huge on a chonky hero.

MATCHED PLAY RULES

Topline, most of these are unfortunately a bust, which is frustrating given the design space and the fact the forthcoming GHB Tactics all seem harder to pull off on average. Factor in the book’s lack of good Galletian Vet candidates and it feels like Sylvaneth have been a bit short changed in terms of scoring potential, at least in the short term.

Grand Strategy wise, it’s tempting to just write ‘bin’ and move on, but in the interests of being thorough… Chorus of the Woodlands asks you to complete 4 battle tactics from the Sylvaneth list. You’ll see why I don’t think that’s very doable shortly. Vengeance and Spite wants you to kill the enemy general with an Outcasts keyword unit – so, Spite-revenants or Drycha. Urm. That’s not going to be terribly easy. Drycha could do it, but if the general is any kind of monster, she’s not doing it alone, which means a big game as you will have to soften it just the right amount with other units for her to finish it off.

Baffling that they’d hinge a whole Strategy on a keyword only two units have. Baffling and aggravating. Roots of victory tasks you with having a wyldwood in each corner of the board, and there being no enemy units with 6″ of them. This feels more doable but also like a huge win-more strategy, as it basically implies you will have almost complete board control. Thematic but hugely risky for so many obvious reasoons.

Massive let down.

Battle tactics fare slightly better. Eradicate Trespassers wants an enemy unit within 6″ of a wyldwood to die. With good positioning, there should be plenty of times in a game the enemy can’t help but be in range for this, so overall it’s nearly as bankable as ‘bring it down’ or ‘broken ranks’ used to be, perhaps better in some ways as it’s any kind of unit.

Harness the Spirit Paths requires a unit to use From The Woodland Depths (i.e. teleport to a terrain piece) and successfully make a charge. Now, charges of 9″ are far too risky, so I don’t like it – unless you have a Spiteswarm Hive set up, in which case your charge is now a re-rollable 6″ – much more doable.

Balance the Cycle wants you to kill a unit within 12″ of a terrain piece by a unit added to your army that turn – which basically means you’ll need Alarielle to summon Kurnoth or a Treelord, and for them to make a 9 incher – in this instance Spiteswarm doesn’t help because it picks a unit end of hero phase and Alarielle summons end of movement. I guess you could summon in 3 bow hunters and plink the last couple of wounds off a weak unit – otherwise this is a massive gamble.

March of the Forest Lords is, thank god, another sensible one. Kill an enemy monster with one of your Big Trees. All of which are good – but Durthu is obviously a beast, so this one goes some way to making amends for the others.

Unleash Ghyran’s Wrath needs a wizard you pick to kill a unit with a spell or endless spell. Given, as I mentioned before, that none of the Sylvaneth spells are really reliable single-target damage, this isn’t super bankable. However, plenty of our wizards have casting bonuses and multi-casts – so Warsong using Unleash Spites, having a Gladewyrm or Skullroot kicking around from the last turn and another spell/Arcane Bolt means you may have a few chances to finish off the last few wounds needed to score this.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There’s a lot to take in here. Having noodled on it all for a few days, I think the book’s strengths lie in tanky, reliable damage units that have surprising mobility – but the best combos in the book require a lot of careful positioning and over-lapping failable effects – i.e. there’s a risk one part of your plan falls through and ruins the synergy.

It’s also a really expensive book – and even though on average the costs are fair, it makes list-building a challenge because of not many smaller costs that can slot into the gaps between 300+ models/units.

A corollary of that is it’s another highly elite army. Heartwood offers the chance to take battleline that doesn’t give up additional damage against them from the new GHB Bounty Hunters battalion, but it also means it doesn’t place super nicely with some of the keyword scoring opportunities. And in general, if you wanted to run a more horde or infantry based list, in light of GHB 22, your options are severely limited – in competitive reality, I’d go so far as to say, limited to zero.

However, I’m bullish on the book in the long term. It’s flexible and non-linear – Enhancements seem varied and have plenty of candidates for them, the book can lean into magic dominance, pure anvil lists, hyper-mobility and alpha strikes, or leafy, synergistic death stars.

If nothing else, for existing Sylvaneth players, it feels like the first time in many years the faction feels like it should. And I woodn’t trade that for the world.

What do you think of the Tome? Got any thoughts on combinations that we may have missed? How will the Sylvaneth slot into the current meta?

Start Collecting: Slaves to Darkness – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

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What’s in the box……!?

1 Chaos Lord on Karkadrakk
5 Chaos Knights
10 Chaos Warriors
16 miniatures, including a mounted hero and five cavalry

One of the best things about the Start Collecting! boxes are the savings, which are usually great. In this case, (as of 18/06/22 in GBP) the box is £65… What do you save, you may ask…. Well, that’s a bit of a complicated question, the Chaos Lord on Karkadrakk isn’t available in any other way and the newer knight and warrior models are also only available in this set…. Oof.

Aside from this, these sculpts are push-fit and the two units do not include options for either banners or standard bearers which you will want. This means that, in order to have units working at their full potential some conversion is needed, which isn’t brilliant for a starter set presumably aimed at beginners.

There are some minor options available – two head options for the Karkadrak Lord and head options for the warriors (male and female which is cool). There’s also the option to build a Doom Knight champion, with a Doom Flail, for the Chaos Knights to give extra Doom.

Unfortunately, the nature of the kit does mean that only one of the four potential Chaos Warrior option weapon fits is available, as these are hand weapon and shield warriors only. In addition, only the lance option is available for the Knights (other than the aforementioned Doom Knight option).

The push-fit nature of the sculpts does also present a bit of a tricky painting problem as there are some hard to reach bits and sub-assembly may be a bit fiddly.

These sculpts are excellent though, very dynamic but close enough to the originals to fit nicely in in with the rest of the range. They also don’t have markings for any specific god so can be painted to suit your taste in appalling extra-dimensional overlord or overlords. A great update to classic sculpts.

As mentioned, the Chaos Lord on Karkadrak sadly isn’t available in any other set and so there really isn’t any way to give yourself much variety if you wished to run more than one…. though I don’t know why you would.

A separate Chaos Warrior regiment set, with the older sculpts, is available direct from GW at £35 for sixteen(!) warriors. The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that this isn’t a good number as the minimum unit size is ten, so you will have more hotdogs than buns. On the flip-side, whilst these are older and more static sculpts, which were designed to rank up for Warhammer Fantasy, they are multipart and do have banner and musician options.

This older kit can be built with either shields or two hand weapons but if you want halberds or great weapons you will need to spend a bit of money. GW used to make upgrade kits for these options but have discontinued them, sad to say. It is possible to make some quite convincing halberdiers though by using the spears from the separate Chaos Knight kit, if you choose to build your Knights with Ensorcelled Weapons.

For separate Chaos Knights, with the older sculpts, you will need to find £36 for ten. YMMV on this but I don’t think this is terrible value though I do really like the aesthetic of the kits. This multipart offers all of the build and command options and fits in reasonably well alongside the Start Collecting! knights, though perhaps not so well aesthetically as the warriors.

Who or What are Slaves to Darkness then?

The Chaos Gods are the ‘Big Bad’ of the setting and have had a huge trove of lore written about them over decades, so please forgive the rough edges of what follows…..

These are extra-dimensional representations of mortal drives and emotions become self-aware and turned up to eleven. These ‘Gods’ destroyed the Old World (does this mean GW is actually Chaos Undivided?) and are intent on corrupting the Mortal Realms and doing it all again. The Chaos Gods are reflections of mortal drives and emotions and seek to drive mortals further and further down the path of dedicating themselves to those drives and emotions. There are separate books for those purely aligned to a single God and their Daemonic footsoldiers. The Slaves to Darkness book is more for those who are still holding their cards close to their chest before playing a hand they can’t win. Chaos Undivided is the worship of all of the Chaos Gods, if you enjoy buffet food for some reason then this may be the option for you.

Slaves to Darkness are the (largely) mortal worshippers of Chaos Gods who are still sampling the buffet and have not yet dedicated themselves (entirely) to a single God, though they may have a Mark which bestows some Godly favours.

Unit Review

Chaos Lord on Karkadrakk

This got a slight points drop after the book was released from a slightly bonkers 250 to a slightly less bonkers 225.

Our Karkadrak can move 9″ and comes on a 90 by 52mm base which can be useful in blocking off an enemy move and generally being a bit annoying.

At 9 wounds Look Out Sir! is available, with a 3+ save and a 5+ mortal wound save this is moderately survivable but can’t stand with any serious melee threats for too long.
Your healing options in Slaves are limited so be aware that, if focused, this Lord will go down quick. This is a sad truth of Slaves, in my opinion, your generic Lords are not the melee terrors they were in The World That Was and if you try to use them like they are you will suffer.

The Karkadrak does have a plethora of attack profiles though – five with a total of 13 attacks!

These aren’t great though, most are zero rend with six at -1. Your Karkadrak does have a heal effect with their axe, if it slays an enemy with the weapon it can heal D3. On the charge the Karkadrak can deal D3 damage to each enemy unit within 1″ on a 2+

The Karkadrak may be best described as a moderate utility buff hero and not an anvil or a beat stick. What buffs though….? Well, Slaves units receive buffs from nearby heroes with the same Mark. Plus, the Karkadrakk has a Command Ability which buffs Chaos Knights and Chariots wholly within 18″ giving them reroll charges and +1 to hit. This means that, if you wish to lean into Knights and Chariots, the Karkadrak can be a fun addition.

Chaos Knights

These are currently 170 points for a five and sadly often used more like semi-survivable chaff rather than delivering the hammerstrike you may be wishing for, I am afraid you need to look to Varanguard for that.

Knights have a 10″ move which is OK for cavalry and a 75 by 42mm base. Knights also have a 4+ save and a 5+ mortal wound save with 3 wounds. Their big bases are helpful for screening but again they won’t survive prolonged attention.

Command options include a champion, standard bearer and musician. The Doom Knight champion gets an extra attack and can take a flail with a 2″ range and D6 attacks. IMHO both the Ensorcelled Weapons and Cursed Lances outclass this but YMMV.

The Standard Bearer (1 in 5) adds plus one bravery giving a potential bravery 8, it’s free so you take it but I do usually find this unit is either OK or just blows up….

The Hornblower musician (1 in 5) adds plus 1 to run and charge rolls, which is always a great buff.

Knights are apparently scary *cough*, so their Horrifying ability subtracts one Bravery from enemy units with a model within 1″…. ahem.

Are they actually scary though? Well, with Ensorcelled Weapons they’re putting out 3 3+ 3+ -1 rend 1 D attacks…. plus the 2 4+ 4+ – 1 D attacks from the horses. We have the lance variant from the Start Collecting box though which gives us buffs on the charge (2 damage and -2 rend) but is less effective in a prolonged melee grind with only 2 attacks and hitting on 4s.

Knights sadly don’t do great damage and can’t really take a punch.

Chaos Warriors

These clock in at a whopping 200 points for ten. They do have 2 wounds though and taking mark of Tzeentch can help their resilience, which really spikes in units of ten or more though (+1 to save taking them to 3+) so if you are looking for that you will need to pile in 400 points or lose it quickly.As mentioned, Warriors have a range of weapon options – Hand weapon and shield, Great Weapon, dual hand weapon, halberd and dual wield.

We all know dual wield should be the correct option, with a dove fly-by, but sadly only giving reroll hits and losing the mortal wound repelling ability of the shield (5+ MW ignore) simply isn’t worth it.

Great Weapons are another cool choice but again the loss of the shield is a huge blow, though the pip of rend is nice.

Halberds give us a 2″ reach, compensating for the 32mm girth, with the trade off of a 4+ rather than 3+ to wound and may be a nice option for a large block of warriors, allowing more to attack.

The only option in our start collecting box though is hand weapon and shield, giving 2 3+ 3+ 0 rend 1 D attacks, I haven’t found Warriors very killy in any variation but they can do some work against light armour and can be considered an OK anvil.

As mentioned, Warriors have a range of weapon options – Hand weapon and shield, Great Weapon, dual hand weapon, halberd and dual wield.

Points mean prizes

At the time of writing the Start Collecing! box clocks in at a fairly respectable 595 points and immediately fills our core requirements for a 1k game of a hero and two battleline.

Should you buy multiples of this set?

Well, in the current meta definitely not (and possibly not even one….). They are fantastic models though and really give the heavy metal theme of Slaves to your army. You will have a bit of a samey feel to your army though due to the lack of variety in poses and will need to do some work to create your command models.

So, a 1K army list might look like this:

Allegiance: Slaves to Darkness
Damned Legion: Ravagers
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs:
Chaos Lord on Karkadrak (225)
General
– Artefact: Mark of the High-favoured
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Ravagers Command Trait: Master of Deception
Chaos Sorcerer Lord (135)
Ravagers Command Trait: Bolstered by Hate
– Spell: Mask of Darkness
10 x Chaos Warriors (200)
Hand Weapon & Shield
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
5 x Chaos Knights (170)
Cursed Lance
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
10 x Chaos Warriors (200)
– Hand Weapon & Shield
– Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
9 x Untamed Beasts (70)
Mark of Chaos: Khorne

Total: 1000 / 1000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 2
Allies: 0 / 200
Wounds: 78
Drops: 6

Battalions to taste.

Chaos Sorcerer Lord

This makes good use of our box and adds in a wizard with a teleport and an extra couple of wounds, courtesy of Bolstered by Hate. Our Karkadrak Lord now has an 18″ range on their Aura of Chaos and so can buff your Khorne units from further away, in addition Master of Deception subtracts 1 from hit rolls of melee attacks directed their way.

An extra block of warriors gives our wizard a body guard and a nice target for their teleport spell to go objective grabbing. Untamed Beasts round out our points and are a good cheap screen with a cheeky pre-game move.

Untamed Beasts

A nice trick in Ravagers is the ability to summon in models via the General which you can rotate through your heroes. This summoning is more impactful in smaller games and the ability to bring in ten marauders is very nice. You will need to pick these up though to effectively round out your list (I would suggest twenty marauders) but these models will be useful as you expand to 2000 points.

All in all I think this is a nice fluffy list which will be fun and meets our heavy metal theme from the Start Collecting! box.

What will it cost?

SetGBP £USD $EUR €AUD $
Start Collecting: Slaves to Darkness£65$110€85$165
Battletome: Slaves to Darkness (2nd Ed)£27.50$45€35$70
Chaos Sorcerer Lord £11$16.50€13.25$22
Chaos Warriors £35$60€45$75
Untamed Beasts£42.50$70€55$110
Total£181$301.50€233.25$442

With the above you’ll end up with 10 additional Warriors for when you look to expand to 2,000 points. You’ll also have a Warcry warband, which is nice. As always, shop around. You’ll be able to find retailers who’ll offer 15-20% off the prices above. If you live in the UK sign up to SCN Hobby World and join their mailing list, with them you’ll receive 25% off GW prices!

If you want pure metal though, buy a second Start Collecting! and use everything from both, excepting the second Karkadrak….. I am not saying it’s great on the table but you can turn the volume up to eleven and headbang your way to a 0-5.

So, is it a buy?

Overall, I would say yes…. it was a buy for me. I picked one of these up and use all of the units in most of my Slaves to Darkness lists. They look cool, especially if you like the heavy metal aesthetic and are a truly great reimagining of classic Warhammer Fantasy units. They do currently lack a bit of juice on the tabletop but who knows what a new book and a shaken up meta might bring……

Speaking of which, with a new Battletome coming for them later this year, it’s likely they’ll also receive a new Vanguard boxed set much like the other factions.

But, until then prepare your claim for whiplash injuries and bellow to the uncaring skies “For The Everchosen”!

Vanguard: Nighthaunt – Is it Worth it?

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Nighthaunt: Vanguard – First Impressions Review

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

What’s in the box?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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