Who are the Splintered Fang?
The Splintered Fang are warrior-cultists from the jungles of the Realm of Life. They seek remnants of their deity and poisons that they can use in battle against their enemies.
The Splintered Fang are pretty average all round, but they have a lot of options and their poison abilities mean that no enemy is safe, no matter how many wounds or high a toughness they have.
Splintered Fang Fighter Types
The Splintered fang have access to the following fighters:
- Trueblood - The Trueblood is a combo masterpiece. 180 points for move 4, toughness 4 and 20 wounds isn’t a great deal, but they have a 2-inch attack with 4 attack dice and crit 5 damage. They also have the Ensnaring Net rune, which for a double, a visible enemy within 3 inches can’t make move actions. No dice roll, just locked. If they only have a 1-inch range attack, then the Trueblood can start stabbing with no danger of any retaliation this round.
- Serpent Caller - The Serpent Caller has 5 move and an 8-inch attack, but the attack only rolls 1 dice, so only use it in desperation. Their range 2 attack rolls 4 dice with 4 crit damage, so that’s always a better option. Their real strength is with the Snake Charmer rune. For a triple, a friendly beast with 4 inches can make a bonus attack. That’s usually going to be the serpents, who roll 5 dice in attack. So get the Serpent Caller behind a screen of serpents, and attack over their heads with the 2-inch attack. If you have a spare triple and there’s a good chance the serpent will take an enemy fighter out, then use it, but there are better options for dice spends.
- Serpents - The Serpents are cheap at 65 points, and have a move of 6 and 5 attacks. So having a couple of these is handy. They’ve only got 8 wounds and toughness 2, so they’re going to go down a lot, but it would be interesting to see how a serpent swarm list would do.
- Pureblood - The Pureblood is an above-average fighter with 4 across the board. 4 move, 4 toughness, 4 attacks, 4 crit damage, and 12 wounds. For 125 they’re a good buy to add a solid unit to the Splintered Fang. They have access to the Relentless Killer rune that allows them to make a bonus attack action if they’ve already taken a unit out. Very handy if they’re surrounded, or for making an attack after removing a unit, then moving to engage another.
- Venomblood with Barbed Whip - There are 4 Venomblood weapon options, that can be split into 2 groups. The shield options are more expensive and have move 4, toughness 5 and 10 wounds. Both shield options have access to the Fanged Buckler rune, which for a triple, you can wound an enemy within 1 inch on a 3+. The barbed whip option is 25 points cheaper, and has a 3-inch attack, with 3 attack dice and 2 crit damage. A 25 point saving might seem a lot, but if you’ve already invested over 100 points in a fighter, you might as well lose the inch on the attack and take the higher damage option.
- Venomblood with Spear and Shield - As above, but the spear and shield option is 25 points more expensive than then Barbed Whip, and has a 2-inch attack, with 3 attack dice and 4 crit damage. Losing the inch on the attack doesn’t hurt. Any range beyond 1-inch is great, as you’re engaged at 1 inch, but 3 to 2 just means a little extra focus on positioning. The extra damage is worth the points, even though it is fairly even over more attacks vs more damage. Overall, the other Venomblood group is a far better choice.
- Venomblood with Duelling Blades - The second Venomblood group doesn't have shields but are faster and much cheaper. Move 5, 3 toughness and 10 wounds for both non-shield options, they are equal on points. The Duelling Blades option has a range 1 attack with 4 attack dice with 4 crit damage.
- Venomblood with Blade and Barbed Whip - As above, but the Blade and Barbed Whip option has 2 different attacks, a range 1 attack with 3 attack dice with 4 crit damage and a range 3 attack with 3 dice and 2 crit damage. Both of these options are preferable to the Shield options, just on points efficiency. Out of the 2 non-shield options, it does depend on how you want to play. Having the choice with the Blade and Barbed Whip is handy, but if you’re planning to stride into combat, go with the larger damage Duelling Blades option.
- Clearblood - The Clearbloods are the cheap troop of the Splintered Fang, and there are 2 weapon options. The standard troop is 5 points fewer than the Shield option, but has a lower toughness, but rolls twice as many dice in attack. 5 fewer points for double the attack and you know what they say about the best defense.
- Clearblood with Shield - The Clearblood Shield weapon option is a trade-off for defense over attack. Rolling less attack dice for higher toughness and access to the Fanged Buckler rune just isn’t worth it. If you kill your enemies first, then you won’t need a higher toughness. More dice. Always choose more dice.
How to build out of the box
The Splintered Fang are available in their own boxed set, which is available to purchase from Goblin Gaming here.
The Splintered Fang have 6 fighters types, with several armament options for 2 of them. Some choices will have to be made when building.
The sprues let you build.
- 1x Trueblood
- 1x Serpent Caller
- 1x Serpents
- 1x Pureblood
- 3x Clearblood
- 1x Clearblood with Shield
- 1x Venomblood with Barbed Whip or 1x Venomblood with Spear and Shield
- 1x Venomblood with Duelling Blades or 1x Venomblood with Blade and Barbed Whip
If building out of the box, the points values for the set miniatures are 780. Both of the non-shield Venomblood options are 85 points and the Spear and Shield Venomblood option is 135, which takes the total to a nice 1000 points. If you're planning on buying multiple boxes, then you could have some real variety in your warband makeup.
Splintered Fang General Tactics
The Splintered Fang have the most choice in warband composition than all the other Chaos warbands. There’s actually a lot of depth in their warband creation, which gives them some options. Want a cheap serpent swarm backed up with a wall of shields and some range 3 whips? The Splintered Fang got you. Want a swarm army with 11 Clearbloods, a Venomblood and a Trueblood. Splintered Fang. How about small more elite force with a range of attack options. Splintered Fang.
All Splintered Fang have access to the Poison Weapon rune, so if you need to do some damage to a tough opponent, a single double makes it easier. They also have the Paralysing Venom quad, which is a risk, but it adds the values of the quad spent to crit damage from the spending fighter until the end of their activation. This can be insane on a high attack fighter and can one-shot leaders on a good roll. After each attack, there’s a 33% chance that the target won’t be able to make move or disengage actions as well, so even if you do't do damage, you may still incapacitate them for the rest of the round.
Splintered Fang Deployment Tactics
For this section, we're only looking at the balanced options for each of the decks. Using all the cards is harder to predict and plan for, but great for open friendly games.
Using only the balanced deployment cards, Shield is deployed 15 times out of 18 on the table. With the flexibility in Splintered Fang lit building, this entirely depends on what your warband make up is. But generally, the Trueblood and the Clearbloods should go in shield to get them on the table and in position early. If you’re playing defensive, have your shield wall here.
Hammer appears in Round 2 onwards 10 out of 18 times and Dagger 8 out of 18 times. There’s something poetic about having the Serpent Caller and any serpents in dagger, so do that. Every time. The hammer can be a fast attack of Venombloods, or a more elite strike of killers in the form of the Pureblood and shield-wielding Venombloods.
Splintered Fang Mission Tactics
Out of the 18 balanced missions, 6 are combat based, requiring removing either the leader or different deployment groups. 9 are objective-based and 3 are mixed, movement/survival-based.
With their poison abilities, even the lowliest Clearblood can take out an elite enemy fighter, so enemy removal missions are where the Splintered Fang excel. They can be very good in defense, and also run spam lists for objective taking. Running a mixed list of different specialties can leave the Splintered Fang lacking overall, so pick a strategy and own it with them.
Do you play the Splintered Fang? What's your standard Warband composition? Who is your favorite fighter? Let us know in the comments below.
The copies of the WarCry products used to produce this article were provided by Goblin Gaming.