Hearty Duardin sharpen their axes while golden runes blister in their skin as they scour the battlefield for precious Ur-Gold. Meanwhile, mysterious sea marauders flow over the battlefield in an unnatural magical torrent, seeking little more than the souls of the living. In the world of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, few armies are as thematic as the Fyreslayers and the Idoneth Deepkin. These two iconic armies recently clashed in Fury of the Deep, an all new boxed set from Games Workshop, but now they're each receiving their own updated Battletomes (essentially new rules guides). Games Workshop sent along copies of the Battletomes to check out, so read on here for our preview thoughts!
What's Contained In The Fyreslayers Battletome?
The Fyreslayers Battletome contains almost fifty pages of lore, a painting guide, allegiance abilities, path to glory rules, matched play rules, and updated warscrolls for the army. Let's dive in deeper into each of these sections. First up is the lore. I love the story of the Fyreslayers, that they're dwarf-like creatures who scour the world for gold not because they're greedy, but because they're seeking Ur-Gold, which to outsiders looks just like gold. This Ur-Gold is a physicaly remnant of their God Grimnir, who died in battle with a great foe. Now they believe if they can gather up enough Ur-Gold, they can resurrect their god. What an incredible, thematic, and clever twist on typical Dwarf tropes! The book goes on to explain how Grimnir fell, the various lodges that have sprung up among the Fyreslayers, how they go to war, why they work as sell-swords, and more.
After a detailed painting guide, the Fyreslayers Battletome moves on to describe the Allegiance Abilities for the roster. These include selecting a specific lodge for your forces, command abilities like "Fierce Counter-Attack" which essentially gives units who were charged at the ability to strike first, and the ever-powerful Ur-Gold Runes. At the start of your hero phase, you activate one of these runes, and roll a d6. On a 1-5, there's a decent benefit, but if you roll a 6, the true power of the rune is unlocked. In example, there's the "Rune of Relentless Zeal," which has a standard effect of adding 2" to the move characteristic of Fyreslayer units, and an Enhanced effect of adding 2 to their charge rolls. There are also powerful artefacts, like the Droth-helm which adds 1 to wound rolls for Magmadroths (giant lizard-like creatures the Fyreslayers have learned to ride). The Path to Glory rules (which is a campaign-like system of the game) allows Fyreslayer players to track how much Ur-Gold they earn, along with all sorts of other rules, quests, benefits, and abilities. Finally, there are the updated Warscrolls for the Fyreslayers, and while there are no new units in this (there's one new-ish unit who made an appearance in the Fury of the Deep box), it still presents powerful options for fielding a Fyreslayer army.
What's Contained In The Idoneth Deepkin Battletome?
The Idoneth Deepkin Battletome contains everything players need to properly game with their Idoneth army, including lore, a painting guide, Allegiance Abilities, Path to Glory rules, Matched Play rules, and Warscrolls for all available units. Let's start with the lore. The first 40 pages of this Battletome tell the story of the Idoneth Deepkin, how they were created, how they fell, and how they've lived their lives in the deepest depths of the ocean. I really like the story of the Deepkin, as it's the story not of merciless raiders, but a desperate society trying to do all they can to survive. Due to their nature, only one out of every 100 Idoneth are born with a healthy soul, and the rest are born with withered and weakened souls. To ensure their people's survival, they attack land-dwelling mortals and claim their souls to nourish their numbers. The entire tale, including a helpful timeline leading up to the present day in Age of Sigmar, lays out a huge and sprawling, epic-style narrative. Along with the lore, there's great detail paid to each of the enclaves of the Deepkin.
After a painting guide going into great detail and depth on everything from how to shade their skin to the proper techniques for painting the fish that surround them, we're treated to a slew of Allegiance Abilities. Chief among them is the Tides of Death, a round-by-round shifting benefit that the entire Idoneth Army receives based on the ebb and flow of their magical tides. There are also rituals that can be performed by Isharann units which can turn the battle on a dime. There are also a fair amount of command traits that seem like they could prove to be quite powerful, like Born From Agony, a command trait allowing a general in your army to heal all wounds if they roll a six. Artefacts of power are also present in this book, including the Bio-Shock Shell (cool name!), which can, if you roll high enough, stick an enemy hero with the "strike-last effect."
Along with all of this, and benefits given to each of the enclaves (one of which you can choose for your army), there are rules for Path To Glory campaigns, where you track the accumulation of souls for the betterment of your people. Warscrolls round out this book, and give rules to each of the playable units in the game.
Both of these books are available for pre-order at the time of this writing, and are a must-grab for players of either of these armies.
The copies of the Battletomes used in this preview were provided by Games Workshop.