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A Newcomer’s Guide to the Emperor’s Children

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

The IIIrd Legion’s Primarch – Fulgrim

Flawless Execution

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

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

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

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

Warlord Traits

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

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

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

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

Rites of War

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

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

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

Legion-specific Enhancements

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

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

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

Lord Commander Eidolon

Legion Specific Units

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

What’s Next

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

Book Review – Shamanslayer

Book 11 in Gotrek & Felix Series – by Nathan Long

Gotrek and Felix have been on many adventures in the World that Was started by William King whose mantel Nathan Long has taken up. In Book 11, they must stop a Shaman from destroying the Empire!

Shamanslayer by Nathan Long

From the book:

Dwarf Trollslayer Gotrek and his human companion Felix Jaeger, Warhammer’s most famous pair of heroes, head off to a new adventure in the latest novel of this best-selling fantasy series against a horde of beastmen who threaten the safety of the Empire.

The horde are moving a Herdstone to the centre of the Empire in order to unleash it’s magic. Magic which turns those near to it into Beasts as well. Will Gotrek & Felix be able to prevent the Shaman and save the Empire from this latest, grave threat?

At book 11, the Gotrek and Felix books are really morphing into the Felix and Gotrek books. This is not surprising as Gotrek developed by William King was already a full character with Felix being more of a sidekick. Nathan Long’s stories have development for Felix (because the only real development for Gotrek is to die!), and it’s good to see.

The story flies along, with a character returning from previous books and Felix must prove that he a worthy wielder of his sword. It has everything you’ll know from the previous books with swords and arrows flying, death all around and Gotrek and Felix at the centre of the storm and all the events.

Despite the death of the World that Was, Gotrek novels set in the Old-World are still great reads, and I would still recommend reading them if you haven’t before.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan & Eeyore

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Gitz at Warhammer World

We spend a lot of time and energy getting together the Top Three List for AoS, but I think sometimes its nice to talk about a certain book and see what people chose to use. This is especially fun for armies not often in the Top Three, and hopefully gives you an idea of what else is available.

I’ve already done Big Waaagh at Quest for Champions, and as I’ve just been to Warhammer World with Gloomspite Gitz, it seems a perfect opportunity to look at Gloomspite Gitz. The Gitz community had hoped for a book this year, but as that seems unlikely this information may be useful to Gitz players!

Top Git! – Roald Hansen – 26th Place – WLLWW

Game 1 vs Slyvaneth
Game 2 vs Maggotkin of Nurgle
Game 3 vs Fyreslayers
Game 4 vs Seraphon
Game 5 v Gloomspite Gitz

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Gloomspite Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Leaders
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95)***
– Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110)***
– Moon-cutta
Madcap Shaman (80)***
– Artefact: Moonface Mommet
– Lore of the Moonclans: Squig Lure
Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (290)*
– General
– Command Trait: Spiteful Git
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Lore of the Moonclans: Itchy Nuisance

Battleline
20 x Shootas (140)*
20 x Shootas (140)*
36 x Squig Herd (480)**
– Reinforced x 2

Units
1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)*
– Allies
10 x Boingrot Bounderz (210)**
– Reinforced x 1
10 x Boingrot Bounderz (210)**
– Reinforced x 1
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75)*

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Bounty Hunters
***Command Entourage – Magnificent

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1980 / 2000

Roald took a mix of squigs with some Shootas to give extra Battleline units. His Loonboss on Mangler Squig is his general and it has some punch allowing Roald a good chance at the Battle Tactic ‘This One’s Mine’. Beating Seraphon, Slyvaneth and of course Gitz; Roald did it the hard way beating two of the good armies in the tournament scene.

2nd Git! – Declan Waters – 44th – LLWWL

Game 1 vs Maggotkin of Nurgle
Game 2 vs Sons of Behemat
Game 3 vs Seraphon
Game 4 vs Lumineth Realm-Lords
Game 5 v Gloomspite Gitz

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Jaws of Mork
– Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110)
– General
– Moonclan Stabba
– Command Trait: Envoy of the Overbounder
– Artefact: Syari Screamersquig

Battleline
10 x Squig Hoppers (180)
10 x Squig Hoppers (180)
36 x Squig Herd (480)*
– Reinforced x 2
12 x Squig Herd (160)**
12 x Squig Herd (160)**

Units
10 x Boingrot Bounderz (210)*
– Reinforced x 1
10 x Boingrot Bounderz (210)*
– Reinforced x 1
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75)
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75)
1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)
– Allies

Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Expert Conquerors

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 150 / 400
Wounds: 242
Drops: 11

I’ll do short descriptions of each of my games, but beating Seraphon & LRL was certainly a good result especially with Kroak and Teclis present. Strangely the mass damage of the two super-casters didn’t do too much damage to the army, because there’s no small single link!

3rd Git – Matthew Ashworth – 54th – WWLLL

Game 1 vs Fyreslayers
Game 2 vs Nighthaunt
Game 3 vs Kruleboyz
Game 4 vs Slyvaneth
Game 5 vs Skaven

– Army Faction: Gloomspite Gitz
– Subfaction: Jaws of Mork
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumph: Inspired
LEADERS
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110)
– Moon-cutta
Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (290)*
– General
– Command Traits: Envoy of the Overbounder
– Artefacts of Power: Syari Screamersquig
BATTLELINE
Squig Herd (160)**
Squig Herd (160)**
Squig Herd (160)**
BEHEMOTH
Colossal Squig (325)*
Colossal Squig (325)*
OTHER
Boingrot Bounderz (210)***
Boingrot Bounderz (210)***
TERRAIN
1 x Bad Moon Loonshrine (0)
CORE BATTALIONS
*Linebreaker
**Expert Conquerors
***Bounty Hunters
TOTAL POINTS: 1950/2000

Matthew set Twitter & WhatsApp alight with 2 wins from 2, with his Colossal Squigs not seen in any of the other three lists. They may have let him down in the last three games though, as he couldn’t manage to sneak that mythical 3rd win for Gitz. He did it the hard way though, and no accusations of submarining would stick here.

4th Git – Stephen McMullen – 70th – LWLLL

Game 1 vs Slaves to Darkness
Game 2 vs Blades of Khorne
Game 3 vs Bonesplitterz
Game 4 vs Soulblight Gravelords
Game 5 vs Soulblight Gravelords

– Army Faction: Gloomspite Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumph: Indomitable
LEADERS
Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (290)*
– General
– Command Traits: Fight Another Day
– Artefacts of Power: The Clammy Cowl
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95)*
– Spells: Squig Lure
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95)*
– Spells: The Hand of Gork
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110)**
– Moon-cutta
BATTLELINE
Squig Herd (320)*
Squig Hoppers (180)*
Squig Hoppers (180)*
BEHEMOTH
Mangler Squigs (275)*
OTHER
Sneaky Snufflers (75)*
Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)*
Boingrot Bounderz (210)**
TERRAIN
1 x Bad Moon Loonshrine (0)
CORE BATTALIONS
*Battle Regiment
**Vanguard
TOTAL POINTS: 1980/2000

Having had a reasonable day 1 by Gitz standards, Stephen was unfortunate to meet two Soulblight Gravelords and not managing to grab the second win. This army was interesting because of the 2 Mangler Squigs, not seen in the other lists, but he still has much of the units in the other lists.

Common Units

There’s a lot of Squigs here with big units of Squigs (36,36, & 24) being used in the three of the lists. We all took Boingrot Bounders, and three took the Ally – Marshcrawler Sloggoth (from Kruleboyz).

In 3 cases the Loonboss on Mangler Squig was the chosen as General, with only me breaking the pattern!

Conclusions!

With 8 wins from 4 players across 20 games we all struggled a little, but it’s always worth looking at this in perspective and to do that I turn to Honest Wargamer Stats:

The Honest Wargames / T-Sports Network Stats!

It shows Gitz hovering below 40% (actually 37% in the overall stats – putting them last), and not bad meta-representation at 3% (putting them in the middle of the pack).

So with 8 wins between 4 of us (one in a mirror) we were pretty much spot on where we should have been – it’s a shame we didn’t do better, but given the number of stats now available – not surprising.

Tournament Preparation – Warhammer World – Age of Sigmar

Gloomspite Gitz – Jaws of Mork

(Header picture from Games Workshop website)

Tomorrow the Age of Chumps club is travelling en-masse to Warhammer World to take part in a two day Age of Sigmar tournament. It’s my last for a while, so I was torn about what to take.

After the success last year of the Big Waaagh, they were the obvious decision – brute force, cunning application – all backed up by an improving profile which means that 2+/2+ doesn’t take long to get to…

But… I haven’t used my Gitz in a while and there is a new GHB, as well a small change to the Loonshrine warscroll.

Games Workshop FAQ

It’s not much, and it’s not a White Dwarf article like Beasts, or Khorne… but it does make a small difference. The Moon allows Moonclan to rally, and Squigs to charge after running. Perfect for getting Boingrot Bounders into the right place, or bouncing over units with Hoppers before finishing off lone heroes! Sure it’s range isn’t perfect, but it’s large on the smaller table.

Finally, the General gets an extra command point each turn – great resource benefit.

Squigs, Spiders, Trogs, or Grots

I have options for all Gitz forces, but my favourite has always been the Squigs… especially as they trigger the rally benefit and the run and charge… also; red looks great.

The List

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Jaws of Mork
– Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110)
 General
 Moonclan Stabba
 Command Trait: Envoy of the Overbounder
 Artefact: Syari Screamersquig

Battleline
10 x Squig Hoppers (180)
10 x Squig Hoppers (180)
36 x Squig Herd (480)*
 Reinforced x 2
12 x Squig Herd (160)**
12 x Squig Herd (160)**

Units
10 x Boingrot Bounderz (210)*
 Reinforced x 1
10 x Boingrot Bounderz (210)*
 Reinforced x 1
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75)
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75)
1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)
 Allies

Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Expert Conquerors

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 150 / 400
Wounds: 242
Drops: 11

It’s not going to chose first or second, has no magic, lacks the punch to get out of a wet-paper bag, and the battle tactics are difficult but who’s counting! It has 242 wounds, Squigs come back in my battleshock phase on a 4+, and if I can get the foot squigs into all quarters I get my Grand Strategy… this includes the ones that come back thanks to the FAQ:

Games Workshop, GHB FAQ (Sep-22)

So that’s a bit of a trick – I’ll be sure to make my opponents aware at the beginning of the game, as it’ll be my aim all tournament.

I’m hoping for 1 win, and to avoid being bottom Chump but the Gitz will be a challenge – Tune back next week to see how I got on!

— Declan

Book Review – Echoes of Eternity

Book 7 in the Siege of Terra Series – by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

The Siege of Terra is reaching it’s climax, having been promised 8 books in the series although it does appear that book 8 will be in a number of parts! Such is the difficulty of writing an ending.

Echoes of Eternity from Black Library

From the book:

The walls have fallen. The defenders’ unity is broken. The Inner Palace lies in ruins. The Warmaster’s horde advances through the fire and ash of Terra’s dying breaths, forcing the loyalists back to the Delphic Battlement, the very walls of the Sanctum Imperialis. Angron, Herald of Horus, has achieved immortality through annihilation – now he leads the armies of the damned in a wrathful tide, destroying all before them as the warp begins its poisonous corruption of Terra. For the Emperor’s beleaguered forces, the end has come. The Khan lies on the edge of death. Rogal Dorn is encircled, fighting his own war at Bhab Bastion. Guilliman will not reach Terra in time. Without his brothers, Sanguinius – the Angel of the Ninth Legion – waits on the final battlements, hoping to rally a desperate band of defenders and refugees for one last stand.

Wow… how do you fit all that in? There are so many Primarchs still left on Terra or interacting with Terra, and there must have been a strong temptation to tell these stories, but Dembski-Bowden doesn’t – or rather he does, but through the eyes of others.

The book starts with a setting of the scene of war – which is essentially a series of short stories of those fighting. The author gives a superb view of the war, with pockets of soldiers fighting, tanks under attack, titan deaths and attacks on the Eternity Gate. These short stories bring the war to the gates, as the defenders (mostly Blood Angels) prepare and await their fate.

The second part is the attack itself, interspersed by the story of Vulkan and Magnus, and has the fight between the Blood Angels and Ka’Banda; and between Sanguinius and Angron. Meanwhile the Eternity gate is still under threat and the Emperor’s shield against the forces of the warp (The Neverborn) starts to weaken under constant assault.

It’s a great addition to the series – and my favourite one so far. We are approaching the end, and it’s great to have the iconic fights included but still see the battle and fighting from the view of more normal people — if ‘normal’ includes the Space Marines!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

— Declan & Eeyore

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

A Newcomer’s Guide to the Dark Angels

The noble knights of the First Legion were too far to intervene at Istvann and were drawn to Thramas to stop the atrocities being committed by the Night Lords. This misdirection occupied the legions for years, leading to the destruction of several inhabited sectors. Lion El’Johnson, the Primarch of the Dark Angels, embarked on the Passage of the Angel of Death, a campaign meant to punish the traitor legions by targeting strongholds and home worlds. This campaign ended once the Siege of Terra began, redirecting the Dark Angels to the defense of the Imperial home world.

In the lore, the Dark Angels are the archetypical legion. They have the tools and resources for any task, and the sectioning of their legion leads to flexibility on the battlefield. This is reflected in the rules through their legion trait, rites of war, warlord traits, and specific units.

The Dark Angels Primarch – Lion El’Johnson

The Hexagrammaton

The Hexagrammaton represents the flexibility of the Dark Angels. Every unit you choose to be in your army must be assigned to one of six “wings”, with each wing providing different effects. There are additional restrictions concerning transport, independent characters, apothecaries, and techmarines, explained in detail in the Liber Astartes.

The wings provide different bonus allowing you to tailor each unit in your army to the job it’s meant to perform. As an example, the Stormwing provides a hit bonus when firing bolters, combi-bolters, or bolt pistols, making it a decent choice for tactical marines to take full advantage of the extra shots provided by Fury of the Legion. The Firewing, on the other hand, applies bonuses to wound rolls when targeting an independent character, making it a potent bonus to the units that you want to take character hunting. One of my favorite wings perfectly highlights the flavor present in the ruleset of the Horus Heresy: the Deathwing allows a bonus to Hit rolls for all types of swords, including any close combat weapons modeled as swords.

The Dark Angels’ advanced reaction, The Angels of Death, provides a unit the ability to respond to an enemy charge by becoming harder to shift. The reliance on a Leadership test makes the reaction slightly weaker, and requires more careful planning on unit selection to get the maximum benefit, but the use of Fear(X) and Fearless/Stubborn can come in clutch when trying to defend an important mid-board objective.

Warlord Traits

The Hexagrammaton provides for an immense degree of flexibility and is an excellent rule allowing for tons of flavor and performance from the legion.

Then there are the warlord traits.

There are two to choose from that are specific to the Dark Angels. The first, Marshal of the Crown, provides a minuscule leadership buff to any unit of the same wing as the warlord that has at least one model that can draw line of sight to the warlord. The second, Seneschal of the Keys, allows the controlling player to select a faction, and then state that a turn is decisive. During the decisive turn, the warlord and any unit to which they are attached gain a small buff to their WS or BS (not both) when targeting a unit of the chosen faction for the duration of the turn.

There are certainly uses to both of these traits; depending on what army your opponent is running your mileage will vary. There is an argument to make, however, that the Horus Heresy is not a competitive game, but a narrative one, in which case either of these options will add flavor to the game, but probably won’t be the reason you win a battle.

Rites of War

To make up for the slim number of warlord traits there are six Rites of War for the first legion. Each Rite is tied to an individual wing of the Hexagrammaton and provides appropriate buffs and restrictions to emphasize building your army around whichever wing you feel would be the most fun to put on the table.

If you want to run nothing but tanks, that is an option by running The Steel Fist, allowing you to take Predators as troops, Kratos tanks as elites, and gives the option to take Land Raiders as dedicated transports for your infantry. Opposite of that is The Storm of War, which pushes the use of massed infantry, giving you the option of filling your fast attack and elite slots with troops units.

The Eskaton Imperative gives you great board control, making everything outside of your deployment zone difficult terrain and allowing you to take Destroyer and Interemptor squads as troops, but providing your opponent with extra victory points if they can keep a unit in their deployment zone at the end of the battle that isn’t Pinned or Falling Back. The Unbroken Vow also provides you opponent with the chance at getting more victory points based on objective control but allows you to take Terminators as troops.

The final two Rites emphasize the use of fast attack slots. The Seeker’s Arrow giving you Sky-hunter and Outrider squads as troops, while providing some buffs and movement shenanigans to your cavalry units. The Serpent’s Bane allows you to take Seeker Squads as troops and allows you to select three priority target units in your opponent’s force, giving your Firewing units bonuses to hit against them.

Overall, every Rite of War is solid, and will have a major impact on your list building. Two Dark Angels armies will play vastly differently from one another, with all possibilities being viable, flavorful, and fun.

Unique Units

The unique units available to the Dark Angels include their Primarach, Lion El’Johnson, two characters, and three infantry units. As with every Primarch, the Lion has a ton of rules that could be covered, but to sum up you can think of him as a very flexible leader and duelist. His warlord trait, Sire of the Dark Angels, provides your army with the ability to reliably perform sweeping advances and provides a small Leadership buff for those units that can draw line of sight to him more reliably. He also is the only unit in the first legion that does not select a wing of the Hexagrammaton at the beginning of the battle, but chooses a wing at the start of the controlling player’s turn that will last the remainder of the round. This provides him with a level of flexibility to perform whatever function you need from him in the moment.

The two characters, Corswain and Marduk Sedras, are each powerful martial combatants. Corswain is the Champion of the Dark Angels, carrying a sword called “The Blade” which gains the Instant Death keyword on 50% of all wound rolls. His armor provides a 3+ Invulnerable save against close combat attacks allowing him to outlast many opponents once a melee begins. Marduk Sedras provides slightly more utility than Corswain, as he provides the Preferred Enemy special rule. This utility does not hamper his damage output, however, as he has an Unwieldy close combat weapon that hits at Strength 9 with the ability to reduce enemy invulnerable saves. It’s worth noting that at the time of writing this article Corswain does not have a model on the Forgeworld store, so if you want to run him in your army you will need to be prepared to kit-bash him from a praetor model.

The first of the three unique units are the Deathwing Companions, an HQ unit meant to act as a retinue for your praetors with a special rule equivalent to bodyguard, ignoring Precision Shots and Precision Strikes. The second is an Elites unit, Inner Circle Knights Cenobium, which are heavy-hitting terminators with the ability to tailor their strengths to the opposing army at the start of a battle. The final unit is the Dreadwing Interemptor Squad, a unit of Elite Dreadwing marines carrying special weapons which act as a combination of plasma guns and flamers.

Final Thoughts

Overall the Dark Angels meet the expectation of being an extremely flexible legion. The wings of the Hexagrammaton allow you to increase the function of each unit, increasing their ability to excel in the role chosen for them. I feel this may open the door for a crafty opponent to play around this, meeting Stormwing units in close combat, or destroying Deathwing units at range before they can make use of their improved swords. While the warlord traits are not the strongest showing, they certainly aren’t bad, and the Rites of War and unique units more than make up for whatever weakness may be in the army.

What’s Next

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

AoS Meta Stats (w/e 28th August 2022)

Unfortunately they’ll be no meta stats next weekend as I am on holiday. Normal service will resume for the week ending of 11th September.

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Grand Tournaments

Emerald City Open 2 – USA
32 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stDaughters of KhaineHagg Nar5-0-0
2ndSons of BehematBreaker Tribe5-0-0
3rdDisciples of TzeentchHosts Arcanum4-0-1
4thSeraphonThunder Lizard4-0-1
5thMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
Emerald City Open 2

Sacremento Slam – USA
12 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSeraphonThunder Lizard5-0-0
2ndDaughters of KhaineHagg Nar4-0-1
3rdOssiarch BonereapersPetrifex Elite3-0-2
4thSkaven3-0-2
5thHedonites of SlaaneshLurid Haze3-0-2
Sacremento Slam

Dice and Ducks: Decimation – UK
16 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSons of BehematTaker Tribe4-0-1
2ndSeraphonFangs of Sotek3-0-1
3rdDaughters of KhaineKhailebron4-0-1
4thSoulblight GravelordsLegion of Night4-0-1
5thBlades of KhorneReapers of Vengeance2-0-2
Dice and Ducks: Decimation

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This Weeks Stats

The following stats are for the week ending 28th August only, essentially GT’s that took place on the 27th and 28th August.

Rolling 4 Week Stats

The rolling stats includes all GT’s since the weekend of 30th/31st July to the 20th/21st August. This covers a total of 983 players (+152 players) across 24 Grand Tournaments (+3 GT).

As the new release of the GHB takes hold it looks as though the overall effect is a positive one, although the stats are starting to shift away from the 50% mark slightly again. With Destruction once again falling.

Its not been a good week for the Kruleboyz and this is also reflected in the four weeks stats with them falling to 35.0%. Come on GW, show them some love.

Here are the rolling four weeks win rates since we began tracking this information:

Faction Stats (Version)

The below stats are for every match in a grand tournament since the release of the new General’s Handbook.

A great week for Seraphon sees them extend a lead over the Daughters of Khaine with 9 clean sweeps to their 6.

Meanwhile at the lower end of the tables factions who have gone a whole tournament with five losses…

As for the win rates of each faction since the release of the new GHB:

In terms of faction popularity:

By rights, each faction should have an equal share of the player base, however we know this will not be the case due to either the appeal of the miniatures or the rules for the factions. Here we can see the most popular factions are Stormcast Eternals, Nighthaunt, Sylvaneth, Daughters of Khaine, Maggotkin of Nurgle, Seraphon and Skaven.

Currently it would appear that Seraphon players have the highest chance of going 5-0 at an even.

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AoS Meta Stats (w/e 21st August 2022)

A change is afoot for the Woehammer stats. We’re going more in depth. You’ll still find the tournament results for GT’s in the last week below along with links. Then there is statistic sections for the rolling four weeks stats and the current Age of Sigmar version (i.e. since the most recent update in terms of GHB or Battletome release).

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Grand Tournaments

Northern Ireland GT – UK
32 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stDaughters of KhaineKhailebron5-0-0
2ndStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar4-0-1
3rdNighthauntEmerald Host4-0-1
4thFyreslayersLofnir4-0-1
5thStormcast EternalsHAmmers of Sigmar4-0-1
Northern Ireland GT

Capital City Bloodbath – Canada
43 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stFlesh-eater CourtsFeast Day5-0-1
2ndBonesplitterzIcebone5-0-1
3rdCities of SigmarHallowheart5-0-1
4thIdoneth DeepkinMor’Phann5-0-1
5thSeraphonFangs of Sotek5-0-1
Capital City Bloodbath

Gateway Open 2022 – USA
43 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stStormcast EternalsKnights Excelsior5-0-0
2ndCities of SigmarLiving City5-0-0
3rdBlades of KhorneReapers of Vengeance4-0-1
4thDaughters of KhaineZainthar Kai4-0-1
5thSons of BehematBreaker Tribe4-0-1
Gateway Open 2022

Salt Lake Open 2022 – USA
33 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stFyreslayersGreyfyrd5-0-0
2ndStormcast EternalsCelestial Warbringers4-0-1
3rdOgor MawtribesBoulderhead4-0-1
4thSons of BehematBreaker Tribe4-0-1
5thFlesh-eater CourtsBlisterskin4-0-1
Salt Lake Open 2022

Nashcon GT 2022 – USA
81 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSeraphonFangs of Sotek5-0-0
2ndMaggotkin of NurgleBlessed Sons5-0-0
3rdNighthauntScarlet Doom4-0-1
4thBeasts of ChaosDarkwalkers4-0-1
5thLumineth Realm-LordsZaitrec4-0-1
Nashcon GT 2022

Snake Eyes – Australia
81 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSeraphonFangs of Sotek5-0-0
2ndKharadron OverlordsBarak-Zilfin5-0-0
3rdMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
4thSylvanethGnarlroot4-0-1
5thSkaven4-0-1
Snake Eyes

Mancunian Carnage: Summer 2022 – Australia
81 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stIronjawz5-0-0
2ndSlaves to DarknessKnights of the Empty Throne5-0-0
3rdMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
4thNighthauntScarlet Doom4-0-1
5thNighthauntEmerald Host4-0-1
Mancunian Carnage: Summer 2022
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This Weeks Stats

The following stats are for the week ending 21st August only, essentially GT’s that took place on the 20th and 21st August.

Rolling 4 Week Stats

The rolling stats includes all GT’s since the weekend of 30th/31st July to the 20th/21st August. This covers a total of 983 players (+152 players) across 24 Grand Tournaments (+3 GT).

As the new release of the GHB takes hold it looks as though the overall effect is a positive one, although the stats are starting to shift away from the 50% mark slightly again. With Destruction once again falling.

Its not been a good week for the Kruleboyz and this is also reflected in the four weeks stats with them falling to 36.5%. Come on GW, show them some love.

Here are the rolling four weeks win rates since we began tracking this information:

Faction Stats (Version)

The below stats are for every match in a grand tournament since the release of the new General’s Handbook.

A great week for Seraphon sees them extend a lead over the Daughters of Khaine and Maggotkin of Nurgle with 7 clean sweeps to their 5.

Meanwhile at the lower end of the tables factions who have gone a whole tournament with five losses…

As for the win rates of each faction since the release of the new GHB:

Beasts of Chaos cling to their top spot but the Maggotkin of Nurgle seem to be having a resurgence and are not too far off their heels. Seraphon and Bonesplitterz are falling closely behind.

Kruleboyz fall back down the table and join Flesh-eater Courts, Ogors, Bonereapers and Gloomspite in the sub 45% win rate.

In terms of faction popularity:

By rights, each faction should have an equal share of the player base, however we know this will not be the case due to either the appeal of the miniatures or the rules for the factions. Here we can see the most popular factions are Stormcast Eternals, Nighthaunt, Sylvaneth, Daughters of Khaine, Maggotkin of Nurgle, Seraphon and Skaven.

Chance of going 5-0

Currently it would appear that Seraphon players have the highest chance of going 5-0 at an even.

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Book Review – Double Eagle

A Sabbat’s World Novel by Dan Abnett

Dan Abnett has made a new warzone with the Sabbat Worlds in his Gaunt’s Ghost series and he returns to the same series, but with aerial combat in Double Eagle.

Black Library

From the book:

While the Space Marines and Imperial Guard rule the battlefields of the Sabbat Worlds, the skies belong to the Imperial Navy. On Enothis, the enemy are threatening to halt the Imperial advance. Daemonic forces push into Imperial territory, thousands of refugees flee across the deserts and an infamous Chaos-tainted pilot, Khrel Kas Obarkon, rules the sky, his skill in the cockpit matched only by his kill tally. The ace pilots of the Phantine Twentieth Fighter Corps are the Imperium’s only hope for victory.

Have you ever wondered what the Battle of Britain would look like but set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Well have no fear, Dan Abnett has thought about it as well and he brings you the answer!

The Phantine Twentieth are a strange breed, being part of the Imperial Army (Astra Militarum) and not the Navy, because the world they come from has very little land and lots of sky! Of course there are rivalries with the Navy and with the local airforce and transfers between the three groups as planes are shot down, pilots are stranded and rescued, and others are promoted.

It’s a fast moving, well designed story with a few story lines but not too many as to be confusing. Abnett has also avoided the temptation to mention the Ghosts, as an aerial wing would not be concerned about a unit they have no link to. The combat is well described and you can imagine you are in the middle of the combat or watching an old WWII film.

Great fun, and definitely recommended if you like Gaunt. It’s also a great introduction into the Sabbat Worlds if you’re not sure you can commit to the entire Ghost’s series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan & Eeyore

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

AoS Meta Stats (w/e 14th August 2022)

A change is afoot for the Woehammer stats. We’re going more in depth. You’ll still find the tournament results for GT’s in the last week below along with links. Then there is statistic sections for the rolling four weeks stats and the current Age of Sigmar version (i.e. since the most recent update in terms of GHB or Battletome release).

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Grand Tournaments

Ranked from largest to smallest.

Age of Sigmar Matched Play Event – UK
74 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men5-0-0
2ndDaughters of KhaineHagg Nar5-0-0
3rdIdoneth DeepkinIonrach4-1-0
4thStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar4-1-0
5thOgor MawtribesBoulderhead4-0-1
Age of Sigmar Matched Play Event

Old Town Throwdown Summer Smash – USA
72 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stBig Waaagh!5-0-0
2ndMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men5-0-0
3rdSeraphonThunder Lizard5-0-0
4thNighthauntScarlet Doom4-0-1
5thBonesplitterzDrakkfoot4-0-1
Old Town Throwdown Summer Smash

Storm of Magic GT – UK
23 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stStormcast EternalsCelestial Vindicators4-0-1
2ndSons of BehematBreaker Tribe4-0-1
3rdSons of BehematBreaker Tribe4-0-1
4thCities of SigmarHammerhal4-0-1
5thFyreslayersLofnir4-0-1
Storm of Magic GT

Turnaj O Nacelnika Opicich Hor – Czech Republic
24 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSeraphonThunder Lizard4-1-0
2ndDaughters of KhaineZainthar Kai4-0-1
3rdKharadron Overlords4-0-1
4thSylvanethHeatwood4-0-1
5thMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
Turnaj O Nacelnika Opicich Hor

King in the North! 22 – Norway
31 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stNighthauntScarlet Doom4-1-0
2ndMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
3rdBeasts of ChaosAllherd4-0-1
4thSylvanethHarvestboon4-0-1
5thDaughters of KhaineZainthar Kai4-0-1
King in the North! 22
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This Weeks Stats

The following stats are for the week ending 14th August only, essentially GT’s that took place on the 13th and 14th August.

Rolling 4 Week Stats

The rolling stats includes all GT’s since the weekend of 23rd/24th July to the 13th/14th August. This covers a total of 831 players (-13 players) across 21 Grand Tournaments (+2 GT).

As the new release of the GHB takes hold it looks as though the overall effect is a positive one on the overall win rates for each Grand Alliance as they all get close to that 50.0% mark.

This is the first time in a rolling four week period where only two factions have fallen below the 45% win rate. Are things getting even better for AoS?

Here are the rolling four weeks win rates since we began tracking this information:

Faction Stats (Version)

The below stats are for every match in a grand tournament since the release of the new General’s Handbook.

Daughters of Khaine, Seraphon and Maggotkin of Nurgle now have both achieved 4 5-0 wins a piece.

Meanwhile at the lower end of the tables factions who have gone a whole tournament with five losses…

As for the win rates of each faction since the release of the new GHB:

Bonesplitterz relinquish their top spot to Beasts of Chaos, however they both have win rates of over 57%, as do Maggotkin of Nurgle and Big Waaagh!

At the other end of the table Gloomspite Gitz are the only sub 40% faction, their new book can’t come soon enough.

In terms of faction popularity:

By rights, each faction should have an equal share of the player base, however we know this will not be the case due to either the appeal of the miniatures or the rules for the factions. Here we can see the most popular factions are Stormcast Eternals, Nighthaunt, Sylvaneth, Daughters of Khaine, Maggotkin of Nurgle, Seraphon and Skaven.

Currently it would appear that Big Waaagh! players have the highest chance of going 5-0 at an event, however this is from a small player base so will fall as more players register under the Big Waaagh! banner.

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