Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Review

Don't call em Squats! The Leagues of Votann have arrived, and we've got a first look at their army set. Do they stand up to the hype? Read our review to find out.

Published: September 17, 2022 5:00 AM /

Reviewed By:

The full contents of the Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Box Set, showing multiple dwarf miniatures painted in green and white

Forged from the genetic data of ancestors past, the Leagues of Votann storm the battlefield with grim resolve and dead-set determination. That's right, folks, today marks the opening of pre-release purchases for the Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set, an all-in-one box containing everything players need to run their own Leagues of Votann forces on the battlefield. We were lucky enough to get sent a review copy of the Army Set from Games Workshop, and we've dug in, built some minis, and read through the rules. Now we're ready to report back our findings to you! Read on for our thoughts on the Leagues, and still til the end of the review for other new releases from Games Workshop in their Necromunda skirmish game line.

What's Included In The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set?

The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set contains miniatures, rules, and tokens needed to run a Leagues of Votann army in Warhammer 40K. Enough to form a Combat Patrol (the smallest size force you can field in the game), the Leagues of Votann Army Set contains the following:

  • 20 Hearthkyn Warriors Models
  • 3 Hernkyn Pioneers Models
  • Ûthar the Destined Model
  • Einhyr Champion Model
  • Codex: Leagues of Votann (Limited Edition)
  • Leagues of Votann datacards
  • Transfer Sheet
  • Token Sheet
The full box contents for Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann, including miniatures and the rulebook
The Leagues of Votann have calculated the risk and are ready to strike! Image: Games Workshop

Who Are The Warhammer 40K Leagues Of Votann?

The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann are a brand new (kinda, it's complicated) faction army coming to Warhammer 40K. Depicted as dwarf-like, with short, squat features, they're a faction dedicated to loyalty to their Kin, and they form powerful Leagues serving different functions in Kin society (Kin is what they call themselves). They are, above all else, absolutely dedicated to ensuring the survival of their species, which means they'll travel anywhere and do almost anything to obtain valuable resources to keep their people fed and their ships and worlds humming along. Because of this, they are perhaps the most likely race in all of Warhammer 40K to ally with other amiable races like humans or T'au, and are more likely to work as mercenaries than most in the 40K world.

The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann codex -- along with detailing all the rules, options, weapons, etc. needed to play this faction -- offers invaluable insights into their lore and mindset. Originally (likely) coming from pre-Imperial Terra long ago, they set out on ships and never returned. From there, though the lore is amazing and complex, the shorthand story is that each generation is a clone of the data and genomes from all previous generations. That's right... these aren't just Space Dwarves, they're Space Dwarf Clones. Just writing that sentence makes me so happy.

Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Leaders on display
Ûthar the Destined and the Einhyr Champion plod their way to the battle field. Image: Games Workshop

The Leagues of Votann center their life around a series of simple Truths - axioms that they all follow that may seem simple to outsiders but bely deep meaning and nuance within their culture. For example, a popular Truth in Kin society is 'The Ancestors Are Watching,' which at first seems like a call to live the bravest, most valiant and proud lives they can. But if their genes are cloned from the genes of all who came before, then within their very blood and DNA lives the essence of their Ancestors. I bring up this point because it is sort of a microcosm for who the Kin are. They seem short, blunt, and to the point, but their motivations and actions run deep and always point to the future of their people, while looking back at where they've come from. Whether you like the way the models look or not (I happen to love them -- they kind of look like squat T'au with Dwarf heads stuck on top), the lore is absolutely full of reasons to fall in love with these grim little dudes.

How Do The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Play?

The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann are an aggressive force bolstered by strong shielding and defense, and have both potent ranged and melee capabilities. We'll dive into each of the units included in the Army Set in the next section, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of their rules that really stand out.

Choosing A League

When you build your Leagues of Votann army, you'll choose a League that they belong to. This can either be one of the five provided Leagues - which all have their own special rules, color patterns, and lore - or you can build your own by selecting different benefits. All five Leagues offer a different take on their forces, but we'll briefly summarize here. First, there's the Greater Thurian League, the largest League and most mercenary, who offer battle benefits like counting as two models when determining objective control. Next there's the far-flung and scattered Trans-Hyperian Alliance, who gain a bonus to their attack role if they lose members of their unit. The Kronus Hegemony are the most military-minded, and adds 1 to its attack roll if it charges or performs a Heroic Intervention. The Ymyr Conglomerate are renowned for their technology and add 4" to the range characteristic of all their ranged weapons (this is the best option, in my opinion... it could be so powerful). And finally we have the Urani-Surtr Regulates, who are stoic and self-reliant, and add 1 to their toughness characteristic.

The other benefits these different Leagues can employ are varied, and the above is just scratching the surface, but it gives you an idea of the way flavor and mechanics merge to form each League's distinct idenity.

Judgement Tokens

Another rule that's new to the game and specific to the Votann is the concept of Judgement Tokens. With Judgement Tokens, your army can swiftly cast judgement on your enemies, determining who's the most high-priority target to meet their wrath. If you're running an all Votann army, you can assign judgement tokens to enemies in the following conditions:

  • If an enemy unit destroys a Votann unit, they get a judgement token
  • If an enemy unit successfully performs an Action or a Psychic Action, they get a judgement token
  • At the end of your opponent's turn, select one enemy unit within range of an objective marker your opponent controls, and they get a judgement token

When an enemy unit has one judgement token, an unmodified hit roll of 6 automatically wounds the target. If a unit has two judgement tokens, a roll of 5+ auto wounds if the attack would hit, and with 3 judgement tokens (that's the max an enemy unit can have), a roll of 4+ auto wounds if the attack would hit. Only Votann Can Judge Me.

What Are The Models That Come With The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set?

The models included in the Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set represent a fun and balanced fighting force to begin building around. Though they're only enough to start a Combat Patrol, they hit hard and are fun to put together. We'll break them all down unit by unit, speaking briefly over their abilities.

Ûthar the Destined

Ûthar the Destined is the most accomplished hero of the Greater Thurian League, and he's a walking powerhouse. With only a 5" move (those little legs can only go so fast!), he's still hale and hearty with Strength 5, Toughness 5, and 6 Wounds. He also has 5 Attacks, which, if you equip him with the Blade of the Ancestors (that's what I built mine with), you could be dealing out massive damage.

Warhammer 40K Uthar The Destined model assembled by TechRaptor
We love the dynamic pose (and the lift provided by the terrain) on Uthar the Destined!

The Blade of the Ancestors has AP -4, and deals 2 damage per successful wound. If you roll an unmodified 6, it deals 2 mortal wounds, and if the unit you're attacking has a judgement token on it, an unmodified roll of 6 deals 3 mortal wounds. Yikes. He has a suite of other abilities, most notable among them his ability The Destined, which reads: Each time an attack is allocated to this model, the Damage characteristic of that attack is changed to 1. He hits hard, he's hard to take down... he's everything you want from a champion dwarf!

Einhyr Champion

Einhyr Champions are clad in exo-armor, and sport a nasty Strength 5, Toughness 5, and 5 Wounds. They are a single unit, and can hit hard with combi bolter, Darkstar Axe, and Mass Hammer. The Mass Hammer is interesting, because each time an attack is made with this weapon, you have to subtract 1 from that attack's hit roll, but it's Strength is x2 (So effectively a Strength of 10), has an AP of -3, and deals D3+3 damage per successful hit.

The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Einhyr Champion assembled by TechRaptor
If you can't un-run him you're in serious trouble.

The Einhyr Champion also has Mass Driver Accelerators, which means that when it blasts off toward an enemy to charge, roll a D6 and if the result is an unmodified 6 or beats the highest toughness in that unit, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds automatically. You want your Champion stomping across the battlefield (though slowly, as they've only got a 5" move) and just smashing everything in their path.

Hearthkyn Warriors And Hernkyn Pioneers

The Hearthkyn Warriors are the "bread and butter" of your Leagues of Votann army. These ground troops don't move fast (they, like most others, have a 5" movement speed) but they have a suite of powerful weapons they can employ, including plenty of fun new additions to the armory. They can also be equipped with a full suite of optional extra wargear, like medipacks, comms arrays, and spectral scanners.

Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Hearthkyn Warriors assembled by TechRaptor, featuring four different models
The Hearthkyn Warriors come with a huge array of weapons and gear.

Adding some much needed speed to the Leagues of Votann are the awesome-looking Hernkyn Pioneers. These dudes come on hover-trikes, and move with a 12" move speed (I love that even in vehicles the Votann aren't that quick). They also come with powerful ranged weapons, grenades, and can move 12" before the start of the first turn.

The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Hernkyn Pioneers assembled by TechRaptor, floating on their hover-trike
I love the way they've mimicked a floating function on this model without using a clear plastic riser.

What Are Our Final Thoughts On The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set?

All in all, the Leagues of Votann could best be described as "Plodding Doom." They don't move too zippy across the field, but when they strike it's with extreme power and heft behind their hits. Watch that you don't get outmaneuvered by your opponent, as they can feel a bit slow on the table, but don't be afraid to stick them in the thick of the fight and force your opponents to meet them head-on.

As for the box set itself, it really is truly spectacular, with wonderful packaging and the entire hardcover Codex packaged within. The models aren't too difficult to build, though this introductory set certainly isn't going to hold your hand through the building process.

Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Size Comparison comparing the size of a Hearthkyn Warrior with an Aeldari
Size comparison of an Aeldari model (left, not included in the set) with a Hearthkyn Warrior... they're not THAT short!

Should I Buy The Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set?

If you're looking to start a new Leagues of Votann army, then you probably already have your eye on this set. It forms the perfect basis for building an army, and you can supplement with the various vehicles and other models as they release this season.

Bonus: New Necromunda Models and Sourcebook

The Necromunda Maulers, brutes on motorcycles
Also up for preorder this weekend, the Goliath Maulers

Along with the Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set are some new releases for Games Workshop's skirmish campaign game, Necromunda. First up are the Goliath Maulers, who look amazing, and use both wheels and tracks to get around. The release of Necromunda Ash Wastes introduced the use of vehicles to the game, and I love this new design for the Goliath gang. They can also be outfitted with a ram, proving that they're really just meant for exactly what they look like... smashing into your enemies head on like a wild beast. Also up this week for preorder is a new sourcebook for Necromunda, Necromunda: The Aranthian Succession – Cinderak Burning. This new book details the events taking place on Necromunda where the noble house is under attack, and you can choose to fight for or against them. It also offers brand new campaign scenarios to play through, and rules for Lady Haera Helmawr, Gorshiv Hammerfist, Athera, and Vespa ‘Minx’ Merdena.

The products used in the creation of this review were provided to TechRaptor by Games Workshop.

Review Summary

With the release of Warhammer 40K Leagues of Votann Army Set, players can field this dwarf-like army on the battlefield with robust rules and detailed minis (Review Policy)

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Giaco Furino joined the TechRaptor team as a Staff Writer in 2019 after searching for a dedicated place to write and talk about Tabletop Games. In 2020, he… More about Giaco

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Warhammer 40,000
Game Page Warhammer 40,000
Games Workshop
Release Date
September 1, 1987 (Calendar)
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