Do you seek glory through rage, blood, and conquest? Or do you find pleasure in over-indulgence in all its forms? In the chaos-tinged world of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, options like these are often the best a mortal can hope for. So... which will it be? This weekend, two new Battletomes go on preorder, one for the Blades of Khorne, and the other for the Hedonites of Slaanesh, and though both armies fall under the Chaos Grand Alliance, they truly couldn't be more different from one another. Games Workshop sent us the Battletomes, and two new models released for each army, to check out, so read on for our Preview!
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Hedonites of Slaanesh Battletome Highlights
The Hedonites of Slaanesh in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar are all about indulgence and overdoing it, and the tales of their worship of the Dark Prince Slaanesh is told in great detail at the start of this battletome. With over 60 pages of lore, you'll learn about what the Hedonites of Slaanesh are getting into during the Era of the Beast, a history of Slaanesh and their followers, an in-depth breakdown of the Dark Prince's domain, and so much more. There's a line in the Battletome that I really love, that I think does a great job of explaining Slaanesh. It reads, "Every passion taken beyond the limits of reason empowers Slaanesh, even the most apparently benign of fascinations." This perfectly encapsulates the god of excess, because whether you're dedicated to honing your sword craft, concocting the most vile poison in the world, or writing the best love story, as long as you take that passion "beyond the limits of reason," you're getting Slaanesh's attention. Now let's look at some of the rules updates for Slaanesh, beginning with Temptation Dice.
With Temptation Dice, you gain six at the start of each battle round. And you can offer one of these dice to your opponent when they fail to make a hit, wound or save roll. If the opponent rejects the offer, the unit suffers D3 mortal wounds for daring to turn down a gift from the Dark Prince. If your opponent accepts the offer, the failed dice roll is turned into an unmodified 6 (how magnanimous of Slaanesh). But, believe it or not, there’s a catch to this bargain: taking the dice gives the Slaanesh player D6 depravity points.
So what are depravity points? They're points you accumulate over the course of the game (through temptation dice and other useful abilities), and as they stack your army gains powerful benefits like a universal 5+ ward save for friendly Hedonites units, dealing extra damage on unmodified hit rolls of 6, and more. You can also trade these depravity points in to summon Slaaneshi demons, like a Chariot of Slaanesh (costing 24 Depravity Points) or even a Keeper of Secrets (costing 36). Now, let's take a look at the new model for the army, the Lord of Hubris.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Hedonites of Slaanesh Lord of Hubris Miniature
This new Warhammer: Age of Sigmar unit is a fairly straightforward entry into the Hedonites of Slaanesh army. With 5 Wounds, a 6" Move, and a 5+ save (and a ward of 4+), he hits with his exquisite scimitar with Range 1", 5 Attacks, 3+ to hit and wound, -1 Rend, and 2 Damage per successful wound. His special ability, "You First, I Insist..." actually grants Strike First to an enemy unit within 1" of him, but all attacks have to target the lord of hubris.
They also give elite models battling next to them the ability to attack once for free before being slain. With these two abilities combined, he could become a big problem when paired with other units around an important objective. If you've got an entire enemy force dumping their attacks on a single model, its easy to find ways to take advantage of that intense focus on the Lord of Hubris (intense focus, that's just what he likes, anyway!).
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Blades of Khorne Battletome Highlights
On the other end of the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Chaos spectrum comes the blood-soaked, near bestial marauders who worship Khorne. Lore-wise, the Era of the Beast is a good time to be a follower of the Blood God, as ferocity reigns supreme! Paired with the overall vibe of abandon and rampage going on across the realms, Khorne's influence is growing across the primal Ghur, which also serves as the setting of this season's big boxes from Warcry, like Heart of Ghur.
One of the biggest changes in this Battletome to previous Blades of Khorne tomes is the way Blood Tithe Points work. Now, each time a unit is destroyed (friend or foe), you gain a Blood Tithe Point (BTP). Previously those points would reset to 0, but now they're accumulative, and you can save them up and spend them later to use special abilities during each hero phase. These abilities range from automatically unbinding an enemy spell to, at the highest tier, improving the Attack characteristic of your entire army by 1 until the end of the battle. You can also spend BTP to summon more units to the battlefield. With multiple ways to gain extra BTP, and ways to bring your slain models back onto the battlefield, an army focused on utilizing BTP could truly steamroll their opponent if this gets out of hand.
There's also a new ability in the book that grants your Daemons a 5+ ward save when they're further than 8" from enemy units, which helps protect your melee-focused daemons from getting picked apart before they can make it into melee combat and start shredding your foes. Of course, if they should dare show cowardice in the face of Khorne and retreat, they lose this ability for the rest of the battle. There are plenty of other additions large and small, like a focus on the Gorechosen and more units getting the priest keyword, but let's focus on the new model also released with this army.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Blades of Khorne Realgore Ritualist
The Realmgore Ritualist is a very tactical addition to your Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Blades of Khorne army. While she doesn't hit particularly hard, she can seriously boost your other melee units and debuff your enemy's units. The ability Desecrating Blood Runes says that this unit can, once per battle, choose an objective or terrain feature and mark it as covered in Desecrating Blood Runes. Until the end of the battle you'll add 1 to the hit rolls of friendly melee weapons for Bloodbound units.
Along with this, she is a priest who knows a prayer called Bloodhex. Answered on a 4, you choose an enemy unit and subtract 1 from their Attacks characteristic (to a minimum of 1) until the start of your next hero phase. Designed in a dynamic pose striding atop a ruin, this is a great unit to use (likely most useful in multiples) to add points of power across the battlefield as you weaken your opponents.
All in all, these two new Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Battletomes offer a modern, updated look at two extremely different, but equally powerful and potent armies. Both are up for preorder this weekend, along with the new models we've outlined here. So check it out if you're looking to bring your blood-thirsty maniacs or over-indulgent terrors to the battlefield!
The products used in the creation of this review were provided by Games Workshop.