AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar

Team Wars 2020 Preview

Down here in New Zealand we are getting super excited for Team Wars 2020, a four person Age of Sigmar team event coming up on 15 and 16 August. Today we cover the event’s pack and all the lists of the event.

Team Wars 2020 Pack

The key elements of the pack are:

  • five rounds
  • 2,000 points per army
  • battleplans from General’s Handbook 2019 (2 battleplans per round)
  • points and FAQs from General’s Handbook 2020
  • Malign Sorcery artifacts are in
  • GHB2020 realm rules are out
  • No team can double-up on allegiances, with exceptions made for the sub-allegiances in Legions of Nagash and Cities of Sigmar.
  • Each team cannot double-up warscrolls across lists.

Read the full pack for more details.


  • Major Win – 16
  • Minor Win – 12
  • Draw – 8
  • Minor Loss – 4
  • Major Loss – 0
  • Complete Secondary – 1
  • Deny Opponent’s Secondary – 1
  • Destroyed 1000pts of Opponent’s Army – 1
  • Preserved 1000pts of your army – 1

Each round the total team score is capped at 65 points. The first tie-breaker will be uncapped team score.


  • Round 1
    • Battle for the Pass (2019)
    • Border War (Core)
  • Round 2
    • Take and Hold (Core)
    • Places of Arcane Power (2019)
  • Round 3
    • Knife to the Heart (2019)
    • Blood and Glory (Core)
  • Round 4
    • Scorched Earth (2019)
    • Escalation (Core)
  • Round 5
    • Starstrike (2019)
    • Relocation Orb (2019)

Match-up Process

Team Wars 2020 Lists

And here are all the lists for Team Wars 2020.

Team Nice and Reasonable

  • Ogor Mawtribes
  • Seraphon
  • Gloomspite Gitz
  • Tzeentch

The Hutt Indomitable Competitive Crew

  • Soulblight
  • Ironjawz
  • Slaves to Darkness
  • Gloomspite Gitz

Dazed and Confused

  • Tzeentch
  • Ogor Mawtribes
  • Fyreslayers
  • Nighthaunt

Stream Wargaming

  • Fyreslayers
  • Skaventide
  • Flesh Eater Courts
  • Grand Host of Nagash

Cold Warhammer

  • Ossiarch Bonereapers
  • Flesh Eater Courts
  • Tzeentch
  • Idoneth Deepkin

Sigmar’s Misfits

  • Stormcast Eternals
  • The Living City
  • Nurgle
  • Hallowheart

Grand Host of the Garage

  • Nighthaunt
  • Legion of Blood
  • Ossiarch Bonereapers
  • Grand Host of Nagash

Drinking Culture

  • Stormcast Eternals
  • Kharadron Overlords
  • Ossiarch Bonereapers
  • Tzeentch

Mostly Harmless

  • Anvilgard
  • Ogor Mawtribes
  • Nurgle
  • Seraphon

Auckland Model Citizens

  • Legion of Grief
  • Skaventide
  • Flesh Eater Courts
  • Ossiarch Bonereapers


  • Big Waaagh!
  • Idoneth Deepkin
  • Tzeentch
  • Stormcast Eternals


  • Tzeentch
  • Ossiarch Bonereapers
  • Idoneth Deepkin
  • Nurgle

Cinderfall District GT Preview

Good morning all, we are now back with our first post-COVID-19 event preview: the Cinderfall District GT on 1/2 August 2020. The event is a classic 5 games, 2000 points, individual matched play tournament held in Adelaide, South Australia and hosted by Luke Stone of Cinderfall Gaming. South Australia has a great scene (as you’d see from the annual South Australia GT).

Cinderfall District GT Pack

Here are the key pack details:

  • All games set in Aqshy, the Realm of Fire using all realm rules;
  • Mysterious Terrain is pre-set for the event;
  • General’s Handbook 2020 matched play rules in play;
  • No legacy warscrolls;
  • Battleplans:
    • Total Conquest
    • Scorched Earth
    • Focal Points
    • Forcing the Hand
    • The Blades Edge

You can read the full pack for more details.


The scoring system is trying something different, by adding Victory Points Scored to points for a result:

  • Your army list submitted late or incorrectly: -5 points
  • Major Victory: 100 points
  • Minor Victory: 80 points
  • Draw: 50 points
  • Minor Loss: 30 points
  • Major Loss: 10 points

The total amount of victory points scored at the end of the game will be added to your overall tournament point score. Games that do not finish a full five rounds will not be allowed to calculate an estimated amount of victory points, only victory points scored when dice down is called will be added to the total score. All Games are expected to try to be played until the end of turn 5 so that an accurate score can be calculated. For example: If you won a major victory and scored 18 Victory points in the game, you would get 118 Tournament Points.

Cinderfall District GT Lists

There are 20 people coming to the Cinderfall District GT this year. Unfortunately, South Australia closed its borders with NSW and Victoria in the last few weeks being the 20 players travelling from other states could no longer attend. But the South Australian crew are well represented.

Here is the faction breakdown:

  • 3 Gloomspite Gitz (up the gitz!)
  • 2 Blades of Khorne
  • 2 Stormcast Eternals
  • 1 Big Waaagh!
  • 1 Daughters of Khaine
  • 1 Flesh Eater Courts
  • 1 Fyreslayers
  • 1 Hedonites of Slaanesh
  • 1 Kharadron Overlords (Khron, Khron, Khron!)
  • 1 Nighthaunt
  • 1 Ogor Mawtribes
  • 1 Ossiarch Bonereapers
  • 1 Skaven
  • 1 Slaves to Darkness
  • 1 Sylvaneth

You can read all the lists here.

My personal favourites from the lists are:

  • Alex Khron (CanKhron) taking his Barak Zilfin Kharadron Overlords for another spin. This list is a further evolution of his list from pre-lockdown events.
  • Jason Dowley running the 2,000 point version of Shootcast Stormcast Eternals and taking advantage of the points reductions. This build works very well at 2.500 points so it will be interesting to see if it has enough at 2,000.
  • Kris Becker running the Squigalanche – purely because SQUIGS!
  • Kyle Tregloan because he is taking 3 massive spiders, 20 baby spiders and the Troggoth Hag!
  • Luke Doman running an All Stars style Slaanesh build with Chaos Marauders. I can see this list either smashing or flopping depending on the match-up.
  • Doom and Darkness himself running a Junkmob Boulderhead with 2 Scraplaunchers! I remember someone trying to tell me that Scraplaunchers were great in 8th ed and didn’t believe them. Maybe their time is now?
  • Finally, Wayne Buck for running a Skaven list that in some games will go absolutely bonkers! 2 Warp Lightning Cannons, 3 Doomwheels, 40 Acolytes and a whole load of more-more-more Warp Power!

So those are some of my favourite lists. I’ll be back with a wrap up and results from the event.

Animosity II – The Burning Winter – Global Narrative Event

A Worldwide Narrative Campaign for Warhammer Age of Sigmar

Hey all, today we have a guest post from the team at Animosity Campaigns announcing the start of their second worldwide narrative campaign for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. If you’re wondering, you can find details of the first global Animosity campaign in the narrative section of the site.

Are you tired of being at home, alone painting your models, or with nobody to share your army’s narrative you made up, or just wanting to team up against other players in a grand conquest?

Well, to help the many players and hobbyists around the world that currently cannot play at their local shop/club, Team Animosity has built a way for them to engage in a narrative campaign while remaining safely socially distant.

Global Collaborative Storytelling

Animosity Campaigns are global collaborative storytelling events, with contributions from players around the world steering the direction of the story and their personal narratives making their way into the grand story arc.

This year, players will be able to participate in Animosity II: The Burning Winter through whatever way they enjoy their hobby the most: single-player (or safe) games of Age of Sigmar and Warcry, Soulbound roleplay sessions, painted and/or converted models, action shot photography of a battle set-up, short stories, drawn artwork and even cosplay!

How it all works

In Animosity II, a number of charismatic non-player characters we call Figureheads are leading their Coalitions of armies and warbands across the icy underworld of Lake Bykaal for conquest, power and glory. It also involves a stolen Enlightenment Engine of Teclis, the spirit of an Ur-Whale godbeast, and frustrated spirits of dead fishermen! What more could you want?

Each turn, players will be presented with a choice of Narrative Paths on how to best help their Coalition. They then submit “Reports” in support of their Coalition’s efforts through our website, choosing one of these Narrative Paths with each report, as well as sharing their contribution for that turn and how it fits into the story. 

Team Animosity then aggregates all of these together into one grand Unfolding Narrative, using the players’ interpretation of the setting and their acts of daring-do to flesh out the events that occur.  Their hobby and writing contributions will also be featured in our Community page.

Players can also engage in strategizing and sharing short stories in our dedicated Discord server, where many are already developing their own personal narratives 

We also have a trailer, narrated by the sexiest voice in Age of Sigmar, Elric Edge from Rolling Bad podcast.

Compete narratively against other players online

Animosity Campaigns has been around since the days of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. For almost a decade, it brought cooperative storytelling and intense strategy on a grand scale to Warhammer players around the world. Now, Team Animosity has worked to reinvent this incredible experience for Age of Sigmar and a new generation of players, with even more ways to participate.

Most notably, Animosity II is not a map campaign. Although there will be a map, it is for narrative purposes and as a playing ground for player’s stories and battles. Players win- or lose- the campaign by how successfully their Coalition navigates the Unfolding Narrative. The more Reports you put into a Narrative Path in a turn, the more likely it will be successful. There will always be an enemy Coalition opposing them, meaning players will be going head-to-head with other players from the top of Turn 1. There is no clean, numerical scoring: players will need to read the narrative and make their best guess. 

Beyond the campaign narrative, there are a large number of player achievements we will recognize at the end of the campaign too, such as best hobby, best written story, biggest MVP for their faction, as well as awards for creative problem-solving and most ambitious over-the-top narrative!

Find out how to jump in and participate now!

Turn 1 starts on Wednesday July 22nd!

Hope to see you on the battlefield!

Team Animosity

ETC 2019 Team Lists

Hey all, the World Cup of Warhammer, the European Team Championships (or ETC 2019) is now less than a month away and the team lists are out! The ETC is a 6 player Age of Sigmar team event with teams from 12 countries from around the world. This year Serbia is playing host.

Today’s post is covering all the team lists from the event. For more coverage, check out the Team England and Team USA announcements on the site 🙂 I’ll also have a post later this week covering the pack and scenarios 🙂

As always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive. Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

What are the European Team Championships?

The European Team Championships is the World Cup of Warhammer with national teams from around the world competing in Warhammer Fantasy (before AoS) and Warhammer 40k, as well as The Ninth Age and Flames of War.  Age of Sigmar was run as a side-event in 2018 and is now growing to fully-fledged game system this year with 19 teams registered so far.

ETC 2019

Where and when is ETC 2019?

The ETC is held August 9-11 2019 in Novi Sad, Serbia.

What is the format?

Teams of 6 players face off in a series of individual games each round, with a combined score determining the results of each round.  The event will be over 6 rounds to decide the overall winner.

The event is using General’s Handbook 2018 and a mixture of core book and GHB2018 battleplans. I’ll cover the pack in detail later this week.

ETC 2019 Round 1 Draw

The draw for the first round has been done and there are some juicy early match-ups, in particular England vs USA.


ETC 2019 Team Lists

And here are the lists! You can download the PDF or keep on scrolling. With thanks to Dave the Chin of the Hero Phase podcast/events/studios for the graphics.


Czech Republic












Adepticon 2019 Preview

Hi all, today starts the epic Warhammer Age of Sigmar coverage from Adepticon 2019 – the largest Age of Sigmar event, and the world’s premiere wargaming convention. Adepticon is a true convention with hundreds of systems, events, classes, seminars, stalls and more. The event hosted 4,500 people last year at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Centre Hotel, outside Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Today, I’ll be previewing the Age of Sigmar events at Adepticon 2019. The action starts with the Games Workshop Studio Preview at 9pm Chicago Time (2am Thursday GMT) before cracking into the gaming tomorrow. The Age of Sigmar events are:

  • the Vanguard tournament (Thursday)
  • the Gibbering Dome narrative event (Thursday)
  • the Team Tournament (Friday)
  • the Championships (Saturday / Sunday)
  • the Youngbloods (Sunday)

All of the events run with plenty of breaks and time to roam around the convention or catch up with wargaming friends from across the world.

Here you’ll find all the pack details and links to the coverage over the weekend. You can check out its website and my 2018 coverage for a taste of the event. I also have a Twitter list containing the attendees of the Age of Sigmar events that I know, so if you are on Twitter you can subscribe to the list and follow along with the excitement over the weekend.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive. Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar Vanguard

The key details for the Age of Sigmar Vanguard tournament at Adepticon 2019 are:

  • Thursday 28 March – 9am to 7:30pm
  • 1000 points
  • 5 games
  • 96 players
  • Malign Sorcery and Realm Rules in play (realms and featured announced on the day)
  • Hidden Agendas as Secondary Objectives

Check out the full pack for more details.

The Gibbering Dome Narrative Event

Paul is running a bespoke narrative event on the Thursday called the Gibbering Dome. Sixteen players will bring 1,000 points of models and play through a string of custom narrative scenarios carrying on the adventures from last year.

Check out the full pack for more details.

Age of Sigmar Team Tournament

The Team Tournament is one of the premiere events over the weekend and always looks and absolute blast. 84 pairs will bring a 2,000 point army (made up of two 1,000 point halves) and play 3 games using the Coalition of Death rules.

The key details are:

  • Friday 29 March, 8am to 8:30pm
  • 2, 1,000 point armies
  • Coalition of Death rules (Core Book, p272)
  • No duplicate army allegiance abilities (except if using the Grand Alliance abilities)
  • Malign Sorcery and Realm Rules in play (announced on the day)
  • Hidden Agendas used as Secondary Objectives

Check out the full pack for more details.

Age of Sigmar Championships

The blue ribbon event of the weekend: the Age of Sigmar Championships. 204 players playing five games of 2,000 points matched play over the weekend. Last year the top three were Sean Troy (Changehost), Jeff Campbell-Crawley (Fyreslayers) and Adam Trunzo (Seraphon). How the meta has shifted.

The key details are:

  • Saturday 30 (8am – 7pm) and Sunday 31st March (8:30am – 4pm)
  • 204 players!
  • the new Blades of Khorne book is not in play
  • Malign Sorcery rules are in force – with each game being played in a pre-determined realm with a pre-determined realmscape feature (both announced on the day)
  • Hidden Agendas will be used as secondary objectives

Check out the full pack and the painting/appearance guide for more details.

Age of Sigmar Youngbloods

Finally on Sunday there is a small event for the Youngbloods, players under the age of 16 in a three game, 1500 point event.

Check out the full pack for more details.

Age of Sigmar FAQs (March 2019)

Hey all, as always I’ve done my usual thing of compiling all the Age of Sigmar FAQs and Designer Commentary into one book-marked and text searchable PDF.

The most recent additions are:

  • Flesh-Eater Courts (Errata and Designer Commentary)
  • Legions of Nagash (Errata and Designer Commentary)
  • Grand Alliance Chaos (Errata)
  • Skaven (Errata and Designer Commentary)

You can download it here.

Age of Sigmar RPG update

Hey all, today I have a round-up of all the news we have so far on the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game (AoS RPG) from Cubicle 7.  Cubicle 7 are the company behind the revived Warhammer Fantasy 4th Edition RPG, the One Ring and Adventures in Middle-Earth RPGs, as well as the Doctor Who RPG.  

Today, Cubicle 7 released the fabulous new cover art by Johan Grenier for the Warhammer Age of Sigmar RPG as well as a whole load of more information which we will dive into.

The Age of Sigmar RPG project was announced with great fanfare last year, was delayed slightly by Cubicle 7’s office move to Ireland, and went through a quiet patch without many updates.  That’s all now changed as Cubicle 7 have hired more staff and the Age of Sigmar team there have started a wave of engagement with the community. You can see that engagement across the Cubicle 7 Facebook Page, C7 Twitter, AoS RPG Reddit, and the Warhammer Fantasy RPG Discord (which has an AoS RPG room).  In particular, Emmet Byrne, the AoS RPG producer at Cubicle 7 has been lifting the curtain on the project’s development and engaging with new and veteran RPG players alike.

Now before we dive into the AoS RPG itself, if you are interested in the Age of Sigmar lore and background, I highly recommend The Mortal Realms and Track of Words for their coverage of the lore and Black Library fiction.  Games Workshop also produced a handy primer video alongside the release of Age of Sigmar Second Edition.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive. Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Game Introduction

Cubicle 7 set out with the goal to make an easy to play, welcoming RPG that allows for a tonne of customisation and personalisation for those that want it.

Accessibility for people new to Age of Sigmar

The Age of Sigmar RPG assumes that its players have no knowledge of the Age of Sigmar, nor the Mortal Realms.  The corebook introduces the setting, its history, information on each of the Realms (although the RPG is mainly set in Aqshy to begin with), the major factions and what daily life in the realms looks like.

Age of Sigmar as heroic fantasy

Age of Sigmar is heroic fantasy, with some “post-apocalyptic steampunk horror”.  High fantasy worlds, where you have your immortal warriors of lightning clashing with the innumerable and unending forces of darkness across across the Realms.  However, these warriors are juxtaposed with the mortals of the Realms, heroes and otherwise, all just trying their best to survive with all the majesty and madness around them.

Beacons of hope against the darkness

The heroes are intended to be “beacons of hope” needed in the desperate times after the Necroquake when the forces of Order are stretched thin. You start as competent heroes.  The comparison given was as if you started with a character from DnD 5e that was between levels 5 and 10. The question isn’t if you’ll win, its how long can you keep winning against overwhelming odds. The ravages of the realms will take their toll.  The aim is for players to “help push back the darkness and their actions will affect how settlements and the lands develop and change”. As players you will be integral in the creation and growth of new settlements.

Order grand alliance heroes to start

In order to keep things relatively simple for new players, the Age of Sigmar RPG will launch with just Order grand alliance player characters.  However, there is still plenty of choice, with at least one character option per Order faction, and as we all know, Order doesn’t necessarily mean “good”. Cubicle 7 have plans for “unconventional” heroes (or villains) but they won’t be in the corebook.

So far, Cubicle 7 have announced the following characters:

  • Knight Questor and Knight Incantor from the Stormcast Eternals
  • Auric Runesmiter of the Fyreslayers
  • Aether-Khemist of the Kharadron Overlords
  • Isharann Tidecaster of the Idoneth Deepkin
  • Witch Aelf of the Daughters of Khaine
  • Excelsior Warpriest of the Devoted of Sigmar
  • Kurnoth Hunter of the Sylvaneth (“I am Groot!”)
  • Skink Starpriest of the Seraphon
  • The mysterious Realmswalker (a human character that has appeared in only one Black Library book so far, the Silver Shard, and the Malign Portents short stories) and
  • Former Freeguild Soldier of the Free People’s (I.e. normal human)

There will be more choices in the core book – the cover itself also has an Endrinrigger flying around from the Kharadron Overlords too.

Growth of the characters

The Age of Sigmar RPG focuses on the personal development and interactions of the party – investigation, exploration, and intrigue – as well as “being a badass demigod made of lightning”. There’s also a  huge element tragedy or sorrow to the setting, especially in the lost civilisations, so we want to let players tell those personal stories. You will be taking on the role of heroes who are tasked with maintaining hope in a bleak world.

The setting of the Mortal Realms

The Mortal Realms are wide, and practically infinite for the purpose of narrative development.  With Age of Sigmar Second Edition, we got a detailed look at the realms that have been at the centre of the story so far.  Maps are being filled in as settlements grow and we learn more about the (relatively) stable hearts of the Realms, as well as the more volatile realm edges.

Understanding ordinary life in the Realms

As with the WHFR, a big part of the role of an RPG game is fleshing out the world and lives of the people in the realms. The RPG focuses on how ordinary people survive, as well as introduce the main settlements, nations and more.  To that end, Cubicle 7 have worked closely with Games Workshop, Black Library and the authors – in particular, David Guymer, Josh Reynolds and CL Werner. There are a number of narrative hooks that this setting offers:

  • after hundreds of years of torture and pain, how did people survive?
  • for those that did, what did this suffering do to them?
  • what is the reaction of the realms’ inhabitants to Sigmar’s abandonment and then return?
  • what happens to the people that don’t want Sigmar’s light and civilisation?

Not an encyclopedia or almanac

The various setting elements are not presented as part of an encyclopedia of the realms.  That is not what Cubicle 7 is trying to create. Instead, the focus is on creating a basis from which stories can be developed through the role-playing.  As Emmet has said:

Maps can be great for looking at something and going “I want to go there!”. We take it from the point of view of an in-world cartographer. How would they see it? We aren’t going from an omniscient, almost satellite view, it’s the realms as the people there know and understand it.”

Primary focus on Aqshy

The adventures in the RPG will be primarily based in one realm, Aqshy, the Realm of Fire, but all are covered (and you can jump between the realms if you like – nothing like a good realmgate). We will be taken to locations that are familiar from the existing Age of Sigmar lore and background.

The RPG occurs after the Necroquake

In terms of timing, the game is set after the events of the Necroquake. There are some optional rules that will utilise some of the weirder/more fun stuff from Malign Portents.  The tone of the setting will be similar to the Malign Portents short stories (I highly recommend you check them out if you haven’t so far).

Game-play mechanics

The Age of Sigmar RPG has a brand new system distinct from the WFRP 4th ed system.  The game system has been built from the ground up for Age of Sigmar.

Dice pools

At its heart, the game works off a D6 dice pool.  You pick up a number of D6 dice depending on your Attributes and Skills.  They are then subject to modifiers and you count the number of successes (rather than total up the score of the dice).  On average you’ll be rolling 3 or 4 dice, with a max roll of maybe 10 dice (at the extreme end of the spectrum).

The aim of the system is to encourage players to combine Attributes and Skills in interesting ways to achieve their objectives.


The game also has a brand new magic system.  There is arcane and divine magic, as well as the different lores of magic that we know and love from Age of Sigmar.  The effects of the spells will be influenced by the Realm that your character is in.

Channelling is the catch-all skill for manipulating magic. Your Lore specialty is determined by your Talents. Some Archetypes have access to more Lores of Magic out of the gate.

The producers behind the game also want magic to feel dangerous – a bit like forbidden knowledge.

Presenting Options

The designers have tried to strike a balance as to what they present to players and GMs and allow people to choose how they want to play.  For instance, there are rules for purchasing from shops using currency (glimmerings), bartering or favours.

The game system is designed to be “plug and play” and also not require extensive referencing back to the rulebooks through the session.   


As a rough guide, the Age of Sigmar RPG is pitched to be less-complex and more friendly to new players than D&D 5th edition.  The initial starting options are limited, to prevent overwhelm, but the game quickly opens up. In addition, there are a range of optional extras that people can choose to use straight away if they wish on top of the simple core rules.


The AoS RPG supports both the use and absence of miniatures.  You can choose to use them if you wish, but otherwise the game works fine without them.


In this section, I’m going to touch on the elements that go into making a player character.  As mentioned above, the game starts with characters from the Order Grand Alliance.


Archetypes are the Age of Sigmar RPG equivalent of classes from other RPGs and are the foundation on which a character is built.  

Your Archetype lets you choose from a select list of Skills & Talents, and the starter set comes with some pre-built or recommended examples. Some Archetypes have a Species choice, some have a designated one. Your species will give you a little bonus, your archetype defines who you are.

“Each Archetype presents your Species, your starting Attributes, your Core Skill and a number of other Skills to choose from, your Core Talent and a number of other Talents to choose from, your faction Influence, your starting equipment, and anything else that is important for your character.”

It gives you some starting skills and talents to choose from but once you gain experience the world is your oyster. It’s up to you how you build and develop your character. There are also optional rules for completely open ended character creation if that’s what you’re looking for.

Many of the Archetypes are tied to model types or prominent titles from the lore.  However, others are new and more open ended to begin.

Species / Factions

Factions will play a major role in the game. As for something like a Shadow Blade, we have a number of Archetypes that come with preset or recommended abilities that help you build your character, but you’ll be free to create and advance them as you want.

Balance: How do you play a Stormcast with an ordinary human?

One of the potential issues with an Age of Sigmar RPG is how you balance the relative strengths of a Stormcast Eternal with those of an ordinary human or aelf. Now Cubicle 7 have acknowledged this and seemingly come up with a clever way of addressing it.  In short, with great power comes great responsibility.

The game will incorporate both mechanical and external balancing effects, as well as a role playing and social balance in order to help mixed groups. Reading between the lines, it appears that there are limits on the free will of some powerful characters in particular circumstances.  

Cubicle 7 have also indicated that the core book will also have notes on preventing imbalance (should it arise within your party).

Morality and Alignment

The Age of Sigmar RPG does not have moral alignments as a formal part of the character development process.  However, you will be loosely aligned with a faction and choose to serve any god of the realms that you want.

All the starting characters are from Order factions, but as we all know from Age of Sigmar, the factions of Order do not necessarily mean “good”.  The Order factions are simply those that choose to create civilisations rather than destroy them.

And given the RPG is set after the events of the Necroquake and the developing problems with Sigmar’s reforming process, there is plenty of opportunity to explore a Stormcast character going off the rails and slowly losing any connection to humanity. Characters can die and there are rules for being Reforged (although there are also situations where a Stormcast Eternal might die outright).

Attributes, Skills & Talents

As mentioned, player characters are built with attributes, skills and talents.

Attributes describe your innate capabilities such as physical prowess, intelligence, and strength of will, while Skills represent your competency and experience in a particular area. Each character has 3 Attributes — Body, Mind, and Soul — and can choose from up to 24 unique Skills. Talents are unique abilities and features that further define what you are capable of, such as spellcasting, aethercraft, or channeling the power of Sigmar into your strikes.

For an example of how attributes, skills and talents can be combined:

  • Body encapsulates anything physical, strength, speed, balance etc
  • Mind is deductive reasoning and awareness of surroundings. Book learning and street smarts
  • Soul is your force of will, grit and determination, and strength of character
  • So Soul + Intimidation (a skill)
  • Or Body + Intimidation for a big bruiser
  • Or Mind + Intimidation for a Hannibal-esque serial killer

Characters will be able to access both mounts and vehicles and there is even the possibility of followers and retinues. There are also options for crafting and creating your own spells.

AoS RPG: the adversaries

As you would expect with any RPG, there are plans for an extended bestiary of adversaries.  The RPG will have the usual mix of mundane creatures as well as monsters: corrupted of chaos, daemons, undead, monstrous beats have all been mentioned.  We may even see the addition of significant opponents such as the Mortarchs of Nagash (which have been described as “fair game”).

Where do you pick up the AoS RPG?

Cubicle 7 will be releasing the core book and an Age of Sigmar RPG starter set which will contain a short adventure and pre-made characters for you to try the game system.  The release is expected in Q3 2019.

The books will be available for purchase through the Cubicle 7 website, and every purchase comes with a free PDF (which you get through DriveThruRPG).

Future Developments

After the initial launch, there is a long roadmap of continued support and development planned out by Cubicle 7. These plans include adventure books, campaign books and further supplements, new character options and more monsters.

So that’s it for now. Cubicle 7 have promised a lot more updates and reveals of the game system, setting and characters over the coming week. Otherwise, join the Discord group, follow them on Facebook and see the latest updates as they come.

Best Coast Pairings Event App

Hi all, you may have seen that my Las Vegas Open coverage this year was greatly helped by using the Best Coast Pairings app (an event organisation and management app for tabletop games). Previously I’ve had some reservations about the app, however the team behind it have made significant improvements to it which addressed these concerns and added many new useful features.  So I wanted to write this piece going through what it offers for those players and event organisers who may not be familiar with it.

Now, before I begin, I just want to make it clear that this is not a paid or sponsored piece, nor an advertorial.  The Best Coast Pairings team provided a couple of teaser stats as part of my LVO coverage, but otherwise all the information I received was from my own use of the free and subscription versions of the app.  I have also previously used both Best Coast Pairings and Tabletop.TO as an event organiser myself.

For more Las Vegas Open 2019 coverage, you can check out:

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive. Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

Best Coast Pairings app

So let’s start with the basics.  Best Coast Pairings is an American gaming app company.  It has a partnership with Frontline Gaming, the major American games website, media company and organisation behind the Independent Tournament Circuit (ITC), probably most famous for Warhammer 40,000.

The different BCP apps

Best Coast Pairings has three different free apps: a Player app, a Tournament Organiser app and an Event Suite app. All are available on both iOS and Android and require an internet connection to work. These apps are supplemented by a paid subscription service which unlocks some features (which I’ll explain below). Let’s look at each briefly:

  • The TO App: The TO app, funnily enough, is the main app used by tournament organizers to run events.  All features are free and Best Coast Pairings intends to keep it this way.
  • The Event Suite App: The Event Suite is more of an enterprise app used by game stores or organizations like Frontline Gaming that is used to manage multiple TOs of a store, or circuits and rankings like the ITC.
  • The Player App: The app used by players to manage their experience with events. As we will get into, players can input their scores, check in, see pairings, etc. The base app is free and there is a subscription service available for viewing lists and results from all events (not just the ones you attend or sponsored events).

Game systems supported by BCP

Best Coast Pairings supports 25 different games currently from 15 companies.  This support includes customisation of the software for the scoring, pairings and placings approaches used by these different game systems.  

Players can enter the total points they earned from the game in points.  So regardless of your scoring system (for majors, minors, secondaries etc), the app can record the results. Tournament organisers can also choose the secondaries and tiebreakers (such as kill points or secondary missions).  I’m also informed that Best Coast Pairings are adding the option for tournament organisers to select different scoring metrics and determine in which order they break ties (for instance, you could do Secondaries, then Best Sports, then Strength of Schedule).  If a tournament organiser needs further customisation, they can contact Best Coast Pairings directly.

Ticketing via BCP or third party

These apps allow event organisers to run their events from ticketing to final results. The organiser creates an event in the TO app which creates an event listing in the app and on the Best Coast Pairings website.  

Players can then find information on the event, sign up and purchase a ticket using credit or debit cards (or cash on the day).

Best Coast Pairings will handle refunds and ticket transfers.  The standard processing fee is 5% plus .30 for each ticket sold which is subtracted from the funds that are deposited.  Ticket funds are released 3 business days after the player has paid.

However, if you want to run your own ticketing (via Paypal, or a service associated with your venue for instance), you can set the event to free in the app and still use all the pre-registration features (such as self-check-in and list uploading). So you don’t have to use the Best Coast Pairings ticketing service to get the most out of the app.

NB: I have not used the ticketing feature myself.  I’m interested to hear how other TOs have found this feature, or if you tend to keep ticketing separate (for instance, through a ticketing agent associated with your venue).

Player Registration: self check-in

At the event, players can check-in remotely (thereby reducing the amount of registration time needed at the desk before people hit the tables).  The online check-in is tied to the event start time and the GPS location for the event (so late players can’t avoid a penalty by checking in from the freeway several miles away).

If a player has not checked in (i.e. not shown up) the player will not be paired into the next round.  Organisers can also drop players at any time from the roster or add them in if they show up at round 2 or 3 for instance due to travel delays.  The app will pair the newly arriving player into the event and automatically record losses for the previous rounds.

List Submission through BCP

One of the most exciting new features of Best Coast Pairings is plain text list submission.  Increasingly in Age of Sigmar, event organisers are requiring players to submit lists via a plain text export from Warscroll Builder or Azyr.  This is usually for ease of list-checking and also to aid compiling the lists for distribution to players and spectators in a list document.

Options for stats and analysis

Now players can upload their list in a plain text format to Best Coast Pairings.  Not only does this put the list in a clear and readable format within the app for everyone to see, but it also means that the people at Best Coast Pairings can do some cool stats and analysis.  For Las Vegas Open, we could see quickly what were the popular factions, spells, artefacts, traits and more. All because the lists were in a standard plain text format. This is a significant improvement on previous versions with pictures or non-OCR’d PDFs of lists.

Event Pairings

The Best Coast Pairings app will automatically assign pairings for the first round of your event (and then every round afterwards once scores are loaded).  

By default, the app randomly sorts players for the first round and then operates under a battle-points Swiss pairings system (i.e. 1st plays 2nd, 3rd plays 4th etc).  The app can also separate team and club mates so that they don’t play each other in the first round (nothing worse than travelling for a tournament and ending up playing the same guy you play every week at home). The event organiser can either re-draw the round (at the tap of a button) or manually assign match-ups in particular cases (for instance, if a couple of players have grudged each other for the first round.

At the moment, Best Coast Pairings assigns pairings as follows:

  • Wins (if the organiser wishes, this step can be skipped).
  • Battle Points (i.e. total from battleplan result, major victory etc and any secondary missions)
  • Points Destroyed
  • Strength of Schedule

As mentioned above, more options are coming for how pairings (and even placings) are determined by the app.

Historically, Best Coast Pairings has struggled with dealing with “soft scores” such as painting and sportsmanship. However, I understand that Best Coast Pairings are aware of the issues here and are working on developing a new system for how soft scores are recorded and handled.

The Event Rounds

The app has a customisable round time countdown clock that is displayed in both the app and the web version.  This allows players (and the TOs/judges) to easily check how long is left in each round, regardless of whether they can see the any big screens at the venue.

Player score-entry: verifiable

After each round, the players can enter their scores directly into the app.  The scores are verified by each player in the match-up (so there isn’t a risk of a mistake, unintentional or deliberate, by one of the players). This certainly saves on TO data entry between rounds.

Live updates and CSV export

All the scores are live-updated in the app so you can see the standings as they are during each round. And the event organiser can export a CSV at any point during the event (should you also want to be manipulating the data, running a back-up or doing stats as you go).

All a player’s information in one place

During the event, you can click on each player, see their list, every match-up in each round, their strength of schedule and their results throughout the event.

Results and ITC Rankings

Throughout the event, the live placings are available to see in the app.  However, should you wish to keep the suspense for the final award ceremony, an event organiser can hide the placings for the final round (or at any point before that too).

If the tournament organiser wishes, the event’s results can be submitted to the ITC Age of Sigmar player rankings.

BCP Subscription Services

Finally, I mentioned that the Best Coast Pairings app is supported by a subscription service.  So what does the subscription get you for USD$4.99/month:

  • Expanded search through the entire backlog of Best Coast Pairings events (not just those you attended or the sponsored large events)
  • Viewing of every submitted list
  • Exclusive rewards program from the Frontline Gaming store which you can redeem on discount codes in their store, or on tickets for Best Coast Pairings ticketed events.  For example, for two months of being a subscriber you get a 10% discount at the Frontline Gaming store

Further features, including a full List Search function are being added shortly.  You will be able to search for lists you want to find and see their event placings, so you can quickly see whether the fabulous list idea performed well.  Not only that, you can search for lists based on location and will be able to see the winning lists in that local meta. Want to know how the East Coast meta compares to the West Coast?  Here is your answer.


So that’s the wrap for now. Best Coast Pairings have made some exciting new changes and initiatives that will help all of us that are part of the Age of Sigmar event scene (whether as players, organisers and commentators).

If there are particular features about other apps or services, such as Tabletop TO or Warscore, get in touch and let me know.

Skaven Battletome Review (Part 2)

The new Skaven battletome has reunited the clans and is likely to prove a defining moment for the future of Warhammer Age of Sigmar.  Skaven are unique Games Workshop IP and have always been at the core of the Warhammer world (literally and figuratively). Now they have properly been brought into Age of Sigmar with all the toys of Age of Sigmar Second Edition.  As we’ll see, there have been massive changes to both Skaven units’ warscrolls and the surrounding rules and abilities. This army has so many tools available to it that you will easily see it around the top tables at events.

In this post, we break down the book, the allegiance abilities, artefacts, spell lores, battalions and potential army builds.  All while picking out our favourite bits. This will only scratch the surface of the book and I’m sure I’ll need to come back and write more on the rats.  If you want a warscroll by warscroll breakdown you can check that out here. If you are interested in the other half of the Carrion Empire box-set, you can read my Flesh-Eater Courts battletome review.

Now I couldn’t have done this review without the informed help of two local Skaven experts – Aiden Nicol (unhealthily obsessed with Pestilens) and Julien Lestat (Skryre warlock and 2017 NZ Master).

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive. Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

Overall assessment on Skaven

So up to this point, Skaven armies at events have either been full Pestilens (having the benefit of a book, plagues and buffed up plague monks) or full Skryre pop-up mortal wound explosion.  That Skryre pop-up build is gone and the army is more balanced as a whole as a result.

What does new Skaven look like? Pure Pestilens is definitely viable and has increased in power,  mixed lists will be much more common and the army will gain the benefit of its new range of 2-cast spell casters.  Masterclan (the Verminlords, Thanquol and Grey Seers) are back with a vengeance and significantly powerful. I expect Skryre will now shift to long-range and support shooting sitting behind the walls of Clanrats and Plague Monks in suitable fashion (although I hear tales of Dan Brewer and Acolytes).

There are so many options in the Skaven book that I’m sure I can only scratch the surface in this review and I look forward to seeing what experienced players like Dan and others do once they have gnawed their way through the whole book and got games in.

The key quick points to note are:

  • The book has viable single clan armies as well as viable mixed clan army builds. Unsurprisingly, the battletome does not really have viable single-drop army builds, but you can get reasonably low.
  • Skaven are expected to have a defining impact on the meta.  The combination of spell-casting, long-range damage, brutal melee damage beasts, significant anti-horde capability and large numbers of bodies themselves mean current successful armies will need to adapt, and you will need to plan to face Skaven at events. Their specific ability will be the potential to neutralise the effectiveness of small buff characters that are so important to some of the top armies (such as Hags, Necromancers, Knight-Vexillor and Branchwraiths).
  • Thanquol is now an absolute combat beast against hordes with four warpfire throwers or an effective combined-arms force multiplier with joint shooting and combat options. The difficulty will be getting him in to or close to combat with full health and power.  However, he will be a massive threat and distraction piece at 400 points.
  • The Verminlord Corruptor is stand-out amazing.  At 260 points you get a highly mobile and deadly combat character for hero-on-hero/behemoth combats, a two-cast wizard with an anti-horde spell with substantial mortal wound output.  All other Verminlords are now much better. Which is awesome given how cool the models are.
  • Warp Lightning Cannons! ZZZZZAP! Points unchanged, more wounds and increased ability to do damage at 24″ with the risk of taking D3 mortal wounds back.
  • There are certain Skaven units which are no longer in the Skaven range.  In particular, the Deathrunner and the Poison Wind Mortar – both models are no longer produced for sale and no longer have profiles.  This reflects Games Workshop’s move to make the game more accessible for new players.
  • Another product direction is that unit rules  match the options available in their plastic kit.  For instance, you used to be able to equip Stormfiends within the same unit with identical weapon options, despite only one of each being available in the kit.  This led to people paying large amounts for spare parts for popular powerful options or custom-building their own to make up for the absence of parts in the kit.  Now the Stormfiends’ rules have changed so that you can only have one of each of the various options in the kit. This is main reason for the death of the Skryre pop-up build.

Allegiance abilities

In this section, we’ll go through the extensive options of the new Skaven battle and command traits.  There is now so much choice for a Skaven general.

Battle Traits

Battle traits are divided into two sections.  The first – the Teachings of the Horned Rat – comprises 4 traits/rules that apply to all Skaventide units.  The second – the Ways of the Great Clans –   comprises 6 traits/rules, one for each of the clan, which apply just to the units with the relevant clan keyword.  

While you will need units from that clan to use the rule, many of the rules have a wider, greater impact on your army.  For example, a single Grey Seer can generate extra command points using Skilled Manipulators from Masterclan, and a Plague Furnace will bring the Echoes of the Great Plagues to buff Clanrats. Therefore, there are incentives to taking a mixed clan Skaven force.

Teachings of the Horned Rat

The Teachings of the Horned Rat provide a collection of thematic rules for Skaven armies.  

  • Lead from the Back allows Skaventide heroes (that aren’t monsters) to benefit from Look Out Sir! In combat as well as from missile weapons.
  • Scurry Away allows Skaventide heroes to disengage from combat and retreat when they are activated in combat.
  • Overwhelming Mass gives units of 20 or more models +1 to hit and 30 or more models +1 to wound as well.
  • Strength in Numbers adds 2, instead of 1, to the Bravery characteristic of Skaven units for every 10 models in the unit.

Ways of the Great Clans

The Ways of the Great Clans are available for Masterclan, Moulder, Eshin, Verminus, Skryre and Pestilens units.  They work in a similar way to the battle traits in the Beasts of Chaos book in that clan units in a mixed clan Skaven army will still have the benefit of their battle traits.

  • Masterclan “Skilled Manipulators” – every time a Masterclan model uses a command point, on a 5+ you get an extra command point.
  • Moulder “Prized Creations” – at the start of the first battle round, each Master Moulder can pick a separate Hell Pit Abomination or Brood Horror and add D3 to its Wounds characteristic.  That monster can also re-roll hit rolls of 1 for its melee attacks.
  • Eshin “Masters of Murder” – your Eshin heroes can pick an enemy hero at the start of the battle and you get to re-roll wound rolls for all attacks made by any Clan Eshin unit against the chosen enemy hero.
  • Verminus “Mighty Warlords” – you can pick 1 unique command trait for each of up to 6 Clawlords (no doubling up your picks).
  • Skryre “Warpstone Sparks” – if you have Skryre heroes, you can generate D3+3 warpstone sparks at the start of the battle.  These can be used throughout the battle to do the following, however you can only use 1 spark per phase.
  • In the hero phase – re-roll casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls for a Skryre wizard until the end of the phase (useful for crucial times).  At the end of the phase, roll a dice and on a 1, the wizard takes D3 mortal wounds.
  • In the shooting phase – pick 3 different Skryre units within 13” of a Skryre hero.  Add 1 to the Damage characteristic of missile weapons used by those units until the end of the phase.  Again roll a dice at the end of the phase and on a 1 the hero takes D3 wounds.
  • In the combat phase – re-roll hit rolls for the Clan Skryre hero.  Again on a 1, D3 Mortal Wounds.
  • Pestilens “Echoes of the Great Plagues” – the Great Plagues are bonus effects that occur if the unmodified prayer roll for a Pestilens Priest is a 6.  If you roll a 6, you can pick 1 of the following Great Plagues (to be resolved in addition to the normal effects of the prayer). Each Great Plague can only happen once per game, and you can also only have one Great Plague per turn.
  • Bubonic Blightplague – sets off a chain of mortal wounds between nearby enemy units, jumping from one to the next.
  • Crimsonweal Curse – does 1 mortal wound a turn to the target unit, slowly chipping away at a key hero for instance.
  • Redmaw Plague – allows you to take over an enemy hero in certain circumstances and use it as your own until the end of the combat phase.
  • The Neverplague – re-roll prayer rolls for all Pestilens priests for the rest of the battle.
  • Undulant Scourge – pick an enemy unit and roll 1 dice per model in the unit, 5+s are mortal wounds.

Command Traits

Skaven generals have access to 3 common command traits.  In addition. there are 3 unique command traits available to each of the 6 Skaven clans.

The shared command traits are:

  • Re-roll wound rolls of 1 for the general’s melee attacks
  • An ability to bounce wounds or mortal wounds onto nearby Skaventide units
  • +1 to the Bravery characteristic of friendly Skaventide units wholly within 18” of the general

Of the unique command traits, my picks are:

  • MasterclanMaster of Magic: once per hero phase, add 1 to casting, dispelling or unbinding rolls for the general.  Although, the command point stealing and generation abilities are also attractive.
  • Skryre Overseer of Destruction:  At the start of your shooting phase, pick up to 3 friendly weapons teams wholly within 13” of the general.  Re-roll hit rolls for those units until the end of that phase. The Deranged Inventor does something similar but you select 1 Skryre unit (of any type).
  • Pestilens – Master of Rot and Ruin: Reroll all failed prayer rolls for the bearer. Pretty neat on a Verminlord if they have the Liber Bubonicus to let them pray. Pretty amazing on a Plague Furnace with Liber Bubonicus as they pray twice and reroll all fails.
  • Verminus Brutal Fury: Once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, you can add 3 to the Attacks characteristic of this general’s melee weapons until the start of that phase.
  • MoulderMoulder Supreme: When you use the Prized Creations battle trait and pick 1 friendly Clans Moulder Fighting Beat model for this general, you can either add 3 to that model’s Wound Characteristic, instead of D3, or add D6 instead of D3.  A nice little gamble there.
  • Eshin – All are pretty thematic.  Unrivalled Killer gives re-rolls to hit against the targeted hero, Incredible Agility which allows the general to fly and Shadowmaster allows the general to be invisible to units over 6” away if the general is hugging terrain.

Building a Skaven army

The Skaven book makes heavy use of the conditional “battleline if” formula for building armies.  Clanrats are generic battleline, Stormvermin are Skaventide battleline and then there are a range of other options depending on your army build.  However, most of these require you to pick an entire army from a single clan (no issue for Pestilens, bad for Eshin) with the only allowed exception being to take a Masterclan general.

  • Moulder: Giant Rats and Rat Ogors
  • Eshin: Gutter Runners and Night Runners
  • Pestilens: Plague Monks and Plague Censer Bearers
  • Skryre: Skryre Acolytes and Stormfiends


The Skaven battletome also has 6 artefacts available for each of the different clans.  These are unique to each clan and give you a massive 36 options to choose from. Note the artefacts are just dependant on the keyword of the hero, so you don’t need to have a full Pestilens army to put an artefact on a Plague Priest or an Eshin artefact on an Assassin.  Our picks are:

  • Masterclan – Suspicious Stone: a wound and mortal wound save on a 5+ for a series of units who already have something similar, turning your average Screaming Bell into a mobile fortress. The Verminlord Warpseer will be a tank.
  • Skryre – Vigordust Injector: Pick a SKAVENTIDE unit wholly within 12”, it adds 1 to all hit and charge rolls this turn, at the cost of d3 mortal wounds at the start of your next hero phase. This bad boy is a returner with a tweak, it used to only target SKRYRE units. Now this can hit Plague Monks, Rat Ogors and even other Verminlords. Cheeky.
  • Pestilens – Blistrevous, the Living Cyst: Add 2” to the bearer’s move, and reroll all failed hit rolls. From the second battle round onwards, it shifts to any Pestilens hero within 13”, even if that hero already has an artefact. Verminlord Corruptor with Sword of Judgement being passed this little trinket by a Plague Priest at the start of turn 2? It’s more likely than you think.
  • Verminus – Rustcursed Armour: Reroll save rolls of 1 for the bearer. Furthermore, if an enemy hero within 3” of the bearer at the start of the combat phase has an artefact of power you can roll 3D6. On a 13 that artefact is destroyed and its effects are lost for the rest of the game. Neat on a Verminlord Warbringer, who will have many heroes equipped with artefacts being sent to try and manage him (regardless of how slim your chance of actually rolling that 13 is (9.7%)).
  • Moulder – Snap-Snap Snarepole: Start of each combat phase, pick an enemy model within 3” of the bearer. That combat phase they subtract 1 from hit rolls. Good for managing hero and behemoth models, just remember you can’t hit a whole unit with it.
  • Eshin – Gnawbomb: Pick a terrain feature within 6” of the bearer. Until the next hero phase it gains all the scenery rules of the Gnawhole Skaven terrain in addition to its own rules.

There are also a myriad of Realm artefacts which will be useful for Skaven armies and I’m sure many great combinations to be had. Unfortunately, given the amount of information in the Skaven book, I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and crunch through it.

Spell Lores

Skaven have a total of 9 spells available to the army, as well as 3 Skaven Endless Spells. There are 6 spells of Ruin.  These are exclusive to models with the Grey Seer keyword, while the spells of Warpvolt Galvanism are exclusive to Clan Skryre. Our picks of the bunch are:

Lore of Ruin (Grey Seers)

The Lore of Ruin is just so good it is hard to pick!  However, they are mainly short range (one at 6”, 4 at 13” and 1 at 26”) so you need to make sure your Grey Seers are in the right positions and well-protected (or able to Gnawhole away to safety).

  • Skitterleap: The iconic Verminlord Deceiver spell can now be taken by any Grey Seer, though it’s had some tweaks.  It’s cast on a 6 and you can pick 1 friendly Skaventide hero (with a Wounds characteristic of 12 or less, yes Verminlord, no Thanquol) within 13” of the caster and visible to them.  Remove that hero and re-set-up the hero anywhere on the battlefield more than 9” away from the enemy. Still so useful.
  • Death Frenzy: Cast on a 7 (not hard in Skaven).  Pick a friendly unit within 13” and, until your next hero phase, when a model in that unit dies (from anything, combat, shooting, magice etc) that model can immediately pile in and attack.  Incredibly useful for units like Plague Monks with a lot of attacks but that will die in droves due to a weak save.
  • Both Scorch (cast on a 5) and Plague (on a 7) can do great damage to hordes.  For both spells you pick an enemy unit within 13” and roll a dice for each model in the unit.  With Scorch, 6s are mortal wounds, with Plague 5+s are.
  • Finally, Warpgale (8 to cast) has a great range (26”) and allows you to do D3 mortal wounds to a unit, but more importantly any run or charge rolls for that unit are halved until your next hero phase.  AND the unit can no longer fly. Bam!

Lore of Warpvolt Galvanism (Skryre Wizard)

In the Skryre lore, my favourites are:

  • Chain Warp Lightning (cast on 6): D6 Units within 18” take 1 mortal wound. Fantastic for spreading mortal wounds across a large amount of mass units and heroes.
  • More-more-more Warp Power (cast on a 7):  If successfully cast, pick 1 friendly Skryre unit wholly within 12 of the caster that they can see.  Re-rpoll hit and wound rolls for that unit until your next hero phase. That unit takes D3 mortal wounds at the end of your next hero phase.  Great for when you really need something to die and you need your Skryre warmachine to work!

Skaven Endless Spells

As with all new books, Skaven got three race-specific Endless Spells: Vermintide (a predatory board control wall which Skaven units can ignore), Warp Lightning Vortex (mortal wounds and movement restriction) and Bell of Doom (an Inspiring Presence bubble that might occasionally do some mortal wounds).

Both Vermintide and Bell of Doom look great value at 40 points.  The Vermintide offers you a lot of movement control and some cheeky mortal wound output to enemy units (with no risk of getting hurt yourself).   The Bell of Doom covers a gap in the Clan Verminus and Clan Moulder lists by giving battleshock protection. Other clans have their own ways of mitigating bravery or are too mobile to make effective use if the Bell.  At 100 points, I had initially dismissed the Warp Lightning Vortex – however, several people I trust have suggested I reconsider. Seems it may be quite viable even at 100 points.

Generic Endless Spells

If we have a quick look at which generic Endless Spells will benefit Skaven armies.

  • Spell Portal will help with overcoming the generally short range of Skaven spells (like Dreaded Thirteenth Spell)
  • Aethervoid Pendulum is always a good pick for damage output with little downside (and thanks to casting buffs inside the Skaven army will not be too hard to cast)
  • Chronomantic Cogs will help those big blocks of Skaven get across the board quickly to establish board control.
  • Geminids complements the armies ability to threaten low wound buff models from other armies as well as the always reliable -1 to hit.


Movement in Age of Sigmar is arguably the most important of all attributes.  Gnawholes are the Skaven race-specific terrain piece and they come in threes.  They are tunnels through reality that allow Skaven units to move around the Realms, and now the tabletop. They provide Skaven with board control and presence potential.

Setting up Gnawholes

After territories have been chosen but before armies are set up, you can set up your Gnawholes:

  • wholly within 8” of the battlefield
  • more than 3” away from enemy units or objectives
  • more than 1” away from any other terrain features

If both players can set up army-specific terrain, then you roll off and the winner chooses the order that the terrain is set up.

How Gnawholes work

At the start of your movement phase, you can use one Gnawhole to transport 1 friendly Skaventide unit.  That transported unit must be wholly within 6” of the Gnawhole, and a friendly Skaventide hero must also be within 6” of the Gnawhole.  You can then set up the transported unit wholly within 6” of a different Gnawhole and more than 9” away from enemy units. That counts as the move for the transporting unit in that movement phase.

The Gnawholes also count as Arcane for Skaventide units (useful for all the Skaven casting) and also add 1 to the prayer rolls for Skaventide priests. Enemy units count them as Deadly terrain.

Making the most of Gnawholes

Given the set-up restrictions on Gnawholes, I expect we will see people using Gnawholes in their own backfield in order to support their own casting and move crucial support heroes where they are needed late game.  You could place one in your enemy’s deployment zone in order to divert some of their resources to keep it occupied. Finally, there is an Eshin artefact (the Gnawbomb) that allows you to turn another piece of normal terrain into a Gnawhole.  This would allow you to create a Gnawhole nearer to the centre of the board and objectives.

Skaven Clan Run-down

Ok, now let’s check in with each of the Skaven clans and how they are sitting with the new battletome.

Clan Pestilens

The dark mirror of Clan Verminus, Pestilens is a horde army that trades the durability and discipline of the warlord clans for total destructive power at the cost of basically no survivability. Powerful support heroes back up a swarm of cheap bodies that with the right support can put out more damage than anything else in the book. An army not for the faint of heart, Pestilens rewards a willingness to commit 100% to every engagement just as well as it punishes any attempt at restraint. The Clans Pestilens are willing to pay for their victories with the blood of every last rat to don the cloth, the Great Corruptor cherishes no soul that does not fall to him in the pursuit of bringing about the Final Rotting. A Pestilens army can take many forms, but against them one can expect to see large Plague Furnaces surrounded by Plague Monks pushing them into combat, their support Plague Priests running up alongside the rest of the army keen to bring their deadly plague magic to bear.

Clan Moulder

Skaven artwork often depicts the Skaven soldiery fighting even as they half-wade through a tide of mutated rats swarming down across the enemy. You know have the power to BE that horrifying horde of biological monstrosities. Forged in the disgusting lairs of twisted scientists freed from petty mortal constraints of right and wrong, terrible creations of flesh, blood and warpstone drag themselves from the hell-pits to lay waste to the Mortal Realms in the service of the highest bidder. A Moulder army is all about swarming the table with cheap annoying rats while your hulking abominations march across the table, whipped into battle by Master Moulders and their Packmaster subordinates who oversee their twisted creation’s devastating effectiveness in battle… from a safe distance.

Clan Moulder is now a viable standalone army should you wish to run a tide of mutated rats at the enemy.

Clan Verminus

While bravery and discipline are rarer than honor and integrity in the dark places under the earth, rats have ran in packs for longer than even the Skaven have walked on two legs. Clan Verminus make use of that self-same mentality, massing Skaven into rank and file and putting their fragile pack mentality to deadly use. Ferocious Clawlords herd ranks of ill-equipped Clanrat infantry into the enemy, goaded on by the lethal Stormvermin elite and watched for signs of cowardice by their Verminlord Warbringer masters, horrifying rat-warlords from beyond the veil of reality and sanity. An army given to large numbers of quality (as far as one expects from a rat in rusted armor) infantry, Clan Verminus fight always in close combat, their abilities favoring mass charges like the Clans Pestilens, but with a dogged sense of self preservation that will see them cut and run to more favorable engagements with the turn of the tide. Discretion as ever, is the better part of valor.

Clan Skryre

Skaven with a predilection for fearsome displays of technological supremacy, Clan Skryre are just at home spraying the enemy at range with scintillating magical fire that consumes all in it’s path as they are driving enormous weaponized wheels directly into the thick of combat. Less given to enormous hordes, Skryre’s “infantry” are hulking monsters armed with the most deadly technology possible and well armed bombardiers armed with toxic gasses. A Skryre army trades numbers for overwhelming firepower and nightmarish shock infantry. Playing Skryre is all about embracing the “shock and awe” of mad science, embracing the fact that you are likely to lay half as much devastation at your own feet as you do the enemy, with most Skryre units having the ability to massively overload their potential… with no small risk. But the lives of rats are cheap, and there is always more besides. The Skryre Arch-Warlocks know that no life (save their own) is priceless in the cause of ultimate victory and discovery.

Clan Eshin

Striking from the shadows to lay the heads of the enemy at the feet of their allies, the Clans Eshin are the masters of the shadowed way, the skitterleap, and the blades in the dark. Favoring a unique playstyle that values hit and run combat and heroes ambushing from the centre of seemingly diminutive ranks of infantry to sink as many throwing stars, knives and punch daggers as possible into the enemy general before disappearing into the shadows. An Eshin army fights on the move, hurling waves of throwing weapons and harassing the enemy until they are ready to close the distance and cut the head from the enemy army in one sweep.

Potential Skaven Army Builds

The Skaven army presents a number of viable options for budding Skaven generals – whether magic heavy, Moulder rat swarms, Pestilens Plague Monk combat and magic builds, or straight mixed arms armies which can do a bit of everything.  I’m not going to try and prescribe or pick any of these as a winner at this stage (unlike with the Flesh-Eater Courts book where I felt more comfortable to make a call). However, there are a number of viable components which we can go through.  

Skaven Battalions

The Skaven battletome has 8 battalions in it.  There is a large mega battalion for Clan Pestilens (made up of 2-3 smaller battalions) and other battalions for Skryre, Verminus, Moulder and Eshin (similar to the old large scale Clawpack battalions).  Skryre’s battalion is unique in that it allows you to choose 2-5 Enginecovens (collections of Skryre units) to unlock certain Skryre abilities. As such, the battalions are all frameworks for building armies around for players interested in (largely) focusing on a single clan.

While these battalions fit a rather large number of units, comparatively to other recent books, they are light on heroes.  And Skaven armies need support heroes to maximise the ability and efficiency of the main units. Therefore, I expect Skaven armies will be low-drop, but there won’t be any easy one-drop armies around.  One-drop armies are truly a thing of the past (just wait for the next Sylvaneth battletome).

Some likely popular battalions are Clawhorde, Congregation of Filth and the Fleshmeld Menagerie.


If you are willing to paint a lot, lot, lot of models (it’s a lot), this is for you. The quintessential Clan Verminus battalion takes a Clawlord, some Stormvermin, and more Clanrats than one could shake a Thing-Catcher at. The bonus for this is that the Clawlord’s command ability affects all eligible units within range of it, rather than just one. This battalion will turn your Verminus army from a 15 drop list to a 5 or 6 drop list, nothing to shrug at and create a solid bunker which, if equipped and marshalled properly, won’t care about battleshock.

Congregation of Filth

The mainstay Pestilens battalion before the book, and so it remains. A Plague Furnace accompanied by at least two Plague Monk units confers each unit with a 6+ ward save for staying within 18” of the Furnace. Monks need all the durability they can get, and with the Battalion specifying no limit on Plague Monk units… go wild.

Fleshmeld Menagerie

This basically allows a bold Moulder player to One-Drop their army and enhance their Master Moulder’s potent command ability.  You can use the command ability once per phase when a friendly CLANS MOULDER PACK unit is destroyed. Roll a dice and on a 5+ a new unit identical to the one destroyed is added to your army.  Set up the new unit wholly within your territory and wholly within 6” of the edge of the battlefield, more than 9” away from the enemy. In the battalion, you get a new unit on a 4+ instead.

Top Artefact + Trait combos

What follows is some combinations of units, artefacts and abilities that jump out of the page.  There are others and this is no way intended to be comprehensive. Partly this is due to familiarity.  I expect there are some awfully nasty things you can still do with Skryre and Warp-Lightning Cannons.

Verminlord Warpseer with Suspicious Stone and Supreme Manipulator

  • Has a rerollable 4+ armor save, a 5+ save against wounds and mortal wounds, and a further 5+ save against wounds and mortal wounds. Good luck getting through all that.
  • Farms command points, generating an extra one per turn on a 3+ or d3 on a 6.
  • The extra command points he earns can be spent on his amazing command ability.  At the start of the battleshock phase, you do not take battleshock tests for friendly Skaven units while they are wholly within 26” of the Warpseer in that phase.
  • Then on a rerollable 5+ he gets the command point back for other command abilities to make use of after him.
  • 260pts nets you all of the above plus his unique spell (which does mortal wounds and halves enemy run and charge rolls and prevents flying units from flying), two spellcasts, powerful close combat and a once-per-game d6 mortal wound attack.

Verminlord Corruptor with Sword of Judgement and Verminous Valor

  • Every 6 to hit inflicts 1+D6 mortal wounds, and he rerolls all fails with his command ability active.
  • 12” move undamaged means he can easily close distance to get to targets.
  • Verminous Valor ensures the enemy can’t shave him down too easily as was the case pre-battletome.
  • 260pts is a steal for the most deadly character in the game for hero-on-hero/behemoth combat.
  • Also has two casts and an anti-horde spell to stop him getting bogged down.

Plague Furnace with Liber Bubonicus and Master of Rot and Ruin

  • Prays twice, rerolls all fails.
  • Has access to all four of the prayers available to the various priests.
  • Confers battleshock immunity to nearby Skaven while enhancing them with support prayers and laying the pain on the enemy at range.
  • Ploughs into something and hits it with a MINIMUM of 5 mortal wounds.

Warpfire Throwers

One other thing that I think we will see is groups of Warpfire thrower weapons teams wrapped up in Clanrat units for a shield.  The Warpfire throwers can then get nice and close before unleashing their very powerful short range damage. Ratling guns also have a lot of potential attack output, but suffer from a bit higher price point.

Allies and Forgeworld

Finally, let’s have a look at the Skaven allies and options hidden away over on the Forgeworld website. The Clawlord on Brood Horror, Brood Horror and Wolf Rats all remain unchanged outside of receiving the appropriate keywords. The Clawlord on Brood Horror is essentially an ordinary Clawlord but with the attack profile of the Brood Horror and healing profile to boot added, making him a powerful Clan Verminus general. The Brood Horror without the rider has the FIGHTING BEAST keyword for the Moulder allegiance, which makes it potentially even MORE survivable than it was beforehand, and Wolf Rats remain their blisteringly quick and hard hitting selves. The Forgeworld Moulder units embody the lore of the clan itself, you can have the most powerful and twisted monsters to ever walk the mortal realms… for the right price.

Skaventide can take Nurgle allies if the Skaven general is from Clan Pestilens, though the efficiency of this has been somewhat clipped now that Clan Pestilens can get powerful casters simply by taking a Masterclan wizard as the general. Niche options remain like using Epidemius to enhance the effectiveness of Plagueclaw catapults, but the trade-off is not being able to take incredibly powerful wizards like Thanquol and the Verminlord Warpseer.  It seems to me that the need for allying in Nurgle units is now gone.

It has been an incredible whirlwind of two days to try and read and digest two new battletomes for Age of Sigmar.  I hope these reviews are useful and I’ll come back to revisit both these books in a few months time.

Flesh-Eater Courts Battletome Review

Hey all, in this bumper week for Age of Sigmar, I now have my Flesh-Eater Courts battletome review.  In this review, we will cover the new battletome, the Flesh-Eater Courts allegiance abilities, artefacts, spell lores, summoning and some early potential army builds.  As always, the opinions in this battletome are predictive and subject to any changes that come in the two-week FAQ. We’ll come back and revisit the book after its had a couple of months out in the wild.  If you want more, you can check out all the preview coverage from Games Workshop compiled in one place here, or check out the awesome Facehammer show.

I’d just like to thank both James Page and Shaun Tubman of the Notorious Age of Sigmar podcast, two of our top local Flesh-Eater Courts players, for contributing to this review and sharing their comments and insights with me.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive. Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

Overall assessment

So what’s the postcard assessment of the Flesh-Eater Courts battletome? This is a significant power increase for Flesh-Eater Courts and I can easily see this army regularly getting 5 wins at events.  It has a tools for dealing with the current popular armies (Legions of Nagash, Daughters of Khaine) and has a scary amount of speed and combat damage output. If playing against the army, make sure you bring sufficient quality ranged damage to take out key heroes on the first turn and have two or more decent chaff lines in place to screen your army. This is an army built for melee damage output with some strong support spells and situational ranged damage as well.

What’s changed with Flesh-Eater Courts?

Flesh-Eater Courts have now really been brought into the world of AoS 2 and the command point resource game.  This is a significant change for an army which previously had limited uses for command points outside of summoning.  The book also now has its own magic lore, more delusions, a custom terrain piece, a variety of command traits and artefacts as well as a range of competitive list builds. Finally, the Flesh-Eater Courts now have an equivalent to Stormcast Eternals Stormhosts, or Daughters of Khaine temples with the Grand Courts (which provide a combined package of abilities, traits and artefacts).

On the other side of the coin, the army has lost the previous crusading army delusion and the majestic horror command trait.  Many of the battalions have been toned down (again in line with the prevailing them of recent books).

Strengths and weaknesses of the new Flesh-Eater Courts

Let’s have a quick run down through the strengths of the new Flesh-Eater Courts army:

  • several efficiently costed heroes because of the free summoning or re-generation
  • Sufficient bodies and movement for strong board control
  • An option for multiple small unit summoning builds
  • Several strong combat monsters
  • Strong spells on the warscrolls of Flesh-Eater Courts heroes and multi-cast wizards to take advantage of Endless Spells too

The army’s strongest weakness is its reliance on heroes that can either be brought down with early ranged damage from lower drop armies or whose spells can be unbound, and combos stopped, by a strong magic opponent.

The key stand-out features from the book are:

  • Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist: a flying wizard with summoning, a ranged mortal wound attack, and devastating combat output thanks to the ability to dish out substantial mortal wounds (with no opportunity for a save of any kind). Further, when combined with allegiance abilities (Gristlegore, Feeding Frenzy, Gruesome Bite), the unit can pile in and attack multiple times before the enemy gets to hit back. Expect 1 (or 3) in every army.
  • Abhorrant Archregent: the new character in the Carrion Empire box set is great at 200 points. It is a 7 wound, 2 cast and unbind wizard with free healing each turn.  Once per game it can summon either 1 COURTIER, 1 unit of up to 3 KNIGHTS (Crypt Flayers or Crypt Horrors), or 1 unit of up to 20 Crypt Ghouls. This ability gives great summoning flexibility – you can have bodies for objectives, Horrors for dealing with hordes, Flayers for combat output, and Courtiers for healing.  Finally, the Archregent has the amazing Ferocious Hunger spell which dramatically increases the attacks of your main combat threats. Many lists will have two.
  • Gristlegore Command Trait and Abilities: The Command Trait allows your general (Ghoul King on Terrorgheist) to fight at the start of the combat phase, before the players pick any other units to fight in that combat phase.  The Peerless Ferocity ability says that if the unmodified hit roll for an attack made by a Gristlegore HERO or Gristlegore Monster is 6, that attack inflicts 2 hits on that target instead of 1.  Make a wound and save roll for each hit.
  • Feeding Frenzy: you can use this command ability after a friendly Flesh-Eater Courts unit has fought in the combat phase for the first time and is wholly within 12” of a friendly Flesh-Eater Courts hero, or wholly within 18” of your general.  If you do so, that unit can immediately make a pile-in move and then attack with all of the melee weapons it is armed with for a second time. You cannot pick the same unit twice in the same phase. A great combo with Gristlegore.
  • Blisterkin Command Trait and Abilities: not only does this Grand Court boost your movement, and farms extra command points, but the command ability allows you to retreat and charge with your main combat units.
  • Chalice of Ushoran: cast on a 6, and at 40 points, this is an amazing value Endless Spell providing great healing to your units and big beasties.  You keep track of the number of models that are slain within 12” of this model each turn. At the end of each turn, roll a dice for each model that slain within 12” of this model during that turn.  For each 4+ heal 1 wound allocated to 1 Flesh-Eater Courts model within 12” of this model, or return 1 slain model to 1 Flesh-Eater Courts unit with a Wounds characteristic of 1 that is wholly within 12” of this model.

Allegiance abilities

The generic Flesh-Eater Courts allegiance ability remains the 6+ wound or mortal wound save if wholly within 12” of a friendly Flesh-Eater Court hero (or colloquially the 6+ Death save). As already mentioned, the Feeding Frenzy command ability is crazy, crazy good.

Building an army

In terms of building the army, your main battleline choice is Ghouls. While you can take Ghouls in large units and replenish them with Mustering (the new name for resurrection type abilities), they are still a tad overcosted for their role. So let’s take a look at the conditional battleline options:

  • Royal Terrorgheist and Royal Zombie Dragon are both Battleline if in a Gristlegore army
  • Crypt Flayers are battleline if the general is a Crypt Infernal Courtier (or if the Crypt Flayers are in a Blisterkin Grand Court)
  • Crypt Horrors are battleline if the general is a Crypt Haunter Courtier (or if the Crypt Horrors unit is in a Hollowmourne Grand Court).

I can see people using either the big beasties or the Flayers as battleline depending on the army build style that the player chooses to run.

Grand Courts and Delusions

You can choose to either align your Flesh-Eater Courts army to a Grand Court or pick a delusion.  You can’t have both. Both apply only to friendly Flesh-Eater Courts units (so won’t apply to allies).

Both Blisterkin and Gristlegore are standout options and worth taking. Morgaunt may have some viable list options, but I don’t see much demand for the Hollowmourne.

Gristlegore Grand Court

  • Peerless Ferocity – The Peerless Ferocity ability says that if the unmodified hit roll for an attack made by a Gristlegore hero or Gristlegore Monster is 6, that attack inflicts 2 hits on that target instead of 1.  Make a wound and save roll for each hit.
  • Command Ability – Call to War  – situational – you can use this command ability in the combat phase if a friendly Gristlegore hero or Gristlegore monster that has not fought in the phase is slain while it is wholly within 12” of a friendly g hero (or 18 if general).  Before that model is removed from play, it can make a pile-in move and then attack with all of the melee weapons it has. You can’t stack it on the same model.
  • Command Trait – Savage Strike – amazing and no real opportunity cost because it is far better than any of the standard command traits.  This general fights at the start of the combat phase before the players pick any other units to fight in that combat phase. This general cannot fight again in that combat phase unless an ability or spell allows it to fight more than once.  Add Feeding Frenxy and the Gruesome Bite and watch the damage mount up.
  • Artefact – Ghurish Mawshard – once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, pick 1 enemy model within 1” and roll a dice. If the roll is greater than the Wounds characteristic of the enemy then the enemy is slain.

Blisterkin Grand Court

  • Blistering Speed: Add 2” to move characteristic of Blisterkin units
  • Command Ability – Lords of the Burning Skies.  Use at start of the movement phase. Pick 1 friendly Blisterkin unit that can fly and wholly within 12” of a friendly Blisterkin hero or 18” if general. Remove that unit from the battlefield and set it up again anywhere on the board more than 9” away from enemy models.  That unit then can’t move in the subsequent movement phase.
  • Command Trait – Hellish Orator – if your general is on the battlefield at the start of your hero phase, roll a dice.  On a 4+ , you gain an additional command point.
  • Artefact – Eye of Hysh – subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks made within missile weapons that target a friendly Blisterkin unit wholly within 6” of the bearer.

If you don’t take a Grand Court, then you could run a Crusading army with the Completely Delusional command trait, allowing you to switch from high movement to the free pile in trait when needed.

The Delusions

Of the delusions, the two stand out options are:

  • Crusading Army: add 1 to run and charge rolls for friendly Flesh-Eater Courts units.
  • The Feast Day – once per turn, you can use the Feeding Frenzy command ability without a command point being spent.

Command Traits

Command Traits are divided into two main sections, 6 for Royalty (for Abhorrant Heroes) and 6 for Nobility (for Courtier Heroes)


  • Majestic horror – if this general is chosen as the model that uses a command ability that summons Flesh-Eater Courts models to the battlefield, they can use it without a command point having to be spent.
  • Dark wizardry – add 1 to casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls for this general
  • Completely delusional – Once per battle, if this general has not been slain, you can pick a new delusion in your hero phase to replace the original delusion you chose for your army. (Switch from Speed to Feast – or a particular tool needed)


  • Dark acolyte – your general becomes a Wizard and can cast and unbind spells just like an ABHORRANT GHOUL KING (gives access to Black Hunger – cast on a 5, if successfully cast, pick 1 friendly Flesh-Eater Courts unit wholly within 24” of the caster and visible to them.  Add 1 to the attacks characteristic of melee weapons used by that unit until your next hero phase) and presumably a spell from the Lore of Madness.
  • Cruel task master – If the general uses a Muster ability you can re-roll the dice for this general that determine if slain models are returned to units (you must re-roll all of the dice).


There are 12 generic artefacts in the book with six in the Routan Treasury (for Abhorrant heroes) and six Noble Heirlooms (for Courtier heroes).  I’ve set out my personal picks below.

Abhorrant heroes

  • Splintervane brooch – subtract 1 from casting rolls for enemy WIZARDS while within 18” of the bearer
  • Grim Garland – subtract 2 from the Bravery characteristic of enemy units while within 6” of the bearer
  • Dermal robe – +1 to casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls for the bearer.


  • Medal of Madness – once per battle the hero can use its command ability for free (even if the hero is not your general and its command ability would normally require the hero to be the general to use it)
  • Flayed pennant – re-roll charge rolls for all friendly Flesh-Eater Courts units wholly within 12”

Outside the artefacts in the book, the most likely realm artefacts I expect we will see are Aetherquartz Brooch (for a command point heavy army), Doppelgänger cloak and Ethereal Amulet (still just as good on 3+ armour save models).

The Lore of Madness

Flesh-Eater Courts now have the Lore of Madness a custom spell lore available to all Flesh-Water Courts wizards. For me, the spell lore itself doesn’t exactly set the world on fire (with the exception of the stand-out Spectal Host).  However, the two-cast wizards allow you to make the most of the excellent spells on the Flesh-Eater Courts warscrolls and Endless Spells (both army specific and generic spells).

Spectral Host is cast on a 6.  If successfully cast, pick 1 friendly unit wholly within 12” of the caster that is visible to them.  That unit can fly until your next hero phase. If it can already fly, until your next hero phase it can run and still charge in the same turn.  If cast on a modified 10 or more, you can pick up to 3 friendly units to be affected by the spell instead of 1.

Flesh-Eater Courts Endless Spells

The Flesh-Eater Courts got three Endless Spells (the usual prescription of AoS2). A healing spell (Chalice of Ushoran), a flying mortal wound spell (Corpsemare Stampede) and a barricade board control spell (Cadaverous Barricade – #ghostfence).  The standout is the Chalice.

Flesh-Eater Courts

The Chalice costs 40 points and is only a 6 to cast.  It can be cast by Nagash and Abhorrants and is set up wholly within 24” of the caster (a real decent size range).  The Soul Stealer rule asks you to keep track of the number of models (from either army) slain within 12” each turn.  At the end of each turn, roll a dice for each model slain. On a 4+, heal 1 wound allocated to 1 Flesh-Eater Courts model within 12” or return 1 slain model to 1 Flesh-Eater Courts unit with a wounds characteristic of 1 wholly within 12”. A bargain..

In terms of the generic Endless Spells, Geminids and Chronomantic Cogs would both be popular (just as they always are).

Mount Traits

Just like Stormcast Eternals, the Flesh-Eater Courts now have traits for both Terrorgheists and Zombie Dragons. There is a lot of good options but Gruesome Bite stands out for the sheer combo potential of Fanged Maw, Feeding Frenzy and Peerless Ferocity.

The Terrorgheist traits:

  • Gruesome Bite – re-roll failed hit rolls for attacks made with the Fanged Maw
  • Deathly fast – run and shoot
  • Razor-clawed – increase rend of mount’s melee weapons by 1
  • Horribly resilient – heal 3, rather than D3, wounds a turn
  • Devastating Scream – add 1 to the Death Shriek values on the mount’s table

The Zombie Dragon shares many of these traits, but also has the ability to deploy off the board and at the end of your first movement phase you set up the Dragon anywhere on the board more than 9” away from the enemy.

Summoning, Mustering and the Charnel Throne

Flesh-Eater Courts have two ways to add new models and units to the army: Summoning and Mustering.

Summoning vs Mustering

Summoning is adding an entire new unit to the army and is done by using a hero’s command ability and spending a command point (usually). The new unit must be set up at the end of the movement phase on the table wholly within 6” of any board edge and more than 9” away from enemy units.

Mustering is the revival of slain models to an existing unit. It doesn’t allow the addition of more models above the unit’s starting size. Revived models need to be set up within 1” of another model in the unit (revived models themselves count for this) and can only be set up within 3” of the enemy if any models from that unit are already within 3”. So this means you can’t “tag” or lock new units into combat through Mustering but, depending on the base size, you may be able to encircle them to stop them retreating.

Charnel Throne

The Charnel Throne is the Flesh-Eater Courts terrain piece.  After territories have been chosen, but before set-up, set-up the Throne wholly within your territory, wholly within 12” of the edge of the battlefield and more than 1” from any objectives or other terrain features. If both players have terrain to set up, you dice off and the winner chooses the order.

So what does it do? The Charnel Throne is treated as inspiring for Flesh-Eater Courts units and Sinister for others (increase and decrease to Bravery).  It also has the Ruler of All He Surveys rule.

Ruler of All He Surveys:  An Abhorrant Archregent that is within 1” of this terrain feature can use the Summon Imperial Guard command ability without a command point being spent.  In addition, an Abhorrant Ghoul King (unclear if includes the Terrorgheist version, expect an FAQ) that is within 1” of this terrain feature can use the Summon Men-at-arms command ability (once per battle, summon 1 unit of up to 10 Ghouls) without a command point being spent.

So how will it play?  If you pack all your heroes around the Throne to maximise summoning turn 1 then you may find you’ve sacrificed board position or left your key heroes vulnerable to an area of effect counterattack (Comet, Heraldor etc).


So what options can you summon?

  • Ghoul King on Terrorgheist – 1 unit of 3 Knights (Flayers or Horrors)
  • Ghoul King on Zombie Dragon – 1 Courtier
  • Abhorrant Archregent  – 1 Courtier, or 1 unit of 3 knights, or 20 ghouls
  • Ghoul King – 10 ghouls

The rules around the set up of summoned units mean that you won’t be summoning defensive chaff screens in front of your army.  Instead, you’ll be summoning bodies to hold your home objectives (if you have a low model count build) or using Horrors and Flayers to threaten the enemy backlines.  By having the option to summon to your opponent’s board edge, you ensure that your opponent needs to take this into account when deploying and moving through the game.  No one wants a large number of bodies popping up in their backfield late game in Knife to the Heart. Plus a unit of 3 Flayers/Horrors will take out a support hero or small objective holding units like Judicators.

Flesh-Eater Courts summoning used to be limited by the constant need to use command points to summon the extra troops using high points cost heroes.  Now you have cheaper heroes and several abilities that allow you to summon without spending command points. Now Flesh-Eater Courts can summon what they need and have some command points left over for other plans.

From a sheer points value perspective this is a bargain.  A 200 point Archregent can summon a 200pt unit of Ghouls for free.  A Ghoul King on Terrorgheist at 400 points is going to give you a nice unit of Flayers as well as being an incredibly cheap and versatile killing machine. .


Mustering works (generally) by rolling 6 dice in your hero phase for each of the qualifying heroes in your army.  You then have options to add slain models back to units depending on the results. So what can you Muster?

  • Varghulf Courtier – 1 slain model to Ghouls (for each 2+) or 1 slain model to Knights (for each 5+)
  • Crypt Ghast Courtier – 1 slain model to Ghouls (2+)
  • Crypt Infernal Courtier – 1 slain model to Flayers (5+)
  • Crypt Horror Courtier – 1 slain model to Horrors (5+)

I need to consider it more, but at the moment I don’t think it’s worth building around maximising a regeneration build.  It just feels like too much overinvestment given the other army builds available (which I’ll touch on below) and also pushes you towards taking the first turn to protect your heroes.

Flesh-Eater Courts Battalions

The Flesh-Eater Courts now have 9 battalions. They are in the style of the recent battletomes and are a mix of small and large battalions, but no real strong single drop army battalions. I expect the battalions we will see the most of are the Royal Mordants, Deadwatch and the Royal Menagerie.

Royal Mordants

  • 1 Varghulf Courtier
  • 1 unit Horrors
  • 1 unit Flayers
  • 1 unit Ghouls

In your hero phase, pick 1 unit from this battalion wholly within 16” of the Varghulf Courtier.  Make a normal move in the hero phase.


  • 1 Crypt Infernal Courtier
  • 3 units of Flayers

In your hero phase, 1 unit from battalion within 3” of enemy can pile in and attack with all melee weapons.

Royal Menageries

  • 3+ Terrorgheists or Zombie Dragrons (in any combination)

In your hero phase heal up to D3 wounds allocated to each model from this battalion within 5” of any other model from battalion.

If you are running this bestie army you want as few drops as possible to ensure you get your alpha strike and all your big death birds hit and pile in twice turn 1.

Potential Army Builds

So what are the core building blocks around which you’ll be making lists?  Many of these should be familiar from the review so far. I’m going to focus on two builds: the Gristlegore Monster build and the Blisterkin Royal Mordants Flayers build.

Gristlegore Monster Build

The Ghoul King on Terrorgheist and Abhorrant Archregent are just such powerful choices with Feeding Frenzy, the Fanged Maw not allowing any save at all to its 6 mortal wounds, the Gristlegore pile in and extra hits abilities, the spells which add attacks to all of a unit’s melee profiles (+D3+1 attacks) and the Gruesome bite (re-roll failed hits) that many people will be building armies around this build.  That is a ridiculous amount of damage once they hit. The army looks great on the table too with the big beasties.

These builds will all be about maximising the damage output and survivability of the big beasts while relying on summoning to bring on bodies.  Supporting these builds will be things like the Mortis Engine, Corpse Cart, and Cogs to lower the risk your key buff spells don’t go off.

The decision points will be around whether you take a Ghoul King on Terrorgheist and 3 Terrorgheists, if you swap in a Zombie Dragon, or if you just go for 3 Ghoul Kings on Terrorgheist.  The Ghoul King is a massive force multiplier that he is worth the extra points in my view. The Ghoul King on Terrorgheist plays the same role as Alarielle but is 50% cheaper. It summons more, has strong healing (like Alarielle), is fast, flies, has a ranged attack and good combat power.

Blisterskin High Movement

Before Flesh-Eater Courts were slow, now they have several ways to make them fast.  Whether it comes from +2 inches across the board from Blisterskin, the Royal Mordants battalion allowing a unit to move twice in one turn, a spell allowing added movement equal to the wound characteristic up to 6 or the delusion that adds 1 to run and charge rolls or hollowmourne allowing run and charges and giving +1 to both (a command ability that can be stacked) or the spell which lets flyers run and charge.  That is a whole lot of added movement options that which many of them can be stacked together where required.

For me, Blisterkin Royal Mordants lists are going to be Flayer-heavy and make full use of that improved warscroll.

As with most things from this release it will be about taking only what you need without hindering other tactical elements such as damage or defense.

Flesh-Eater Courts Allies

Flesh-Eater Courts can take allies from Deadwalkers, Deathlords, and Deathmages. The most likely ally choices I expect to see are for supporting casting (Arkhan, Mortis Engine, Corpse Cary) or to add cheap fast chaff into a monster build (Dire Wolves).

Concluding predictions – how will Flesh-Eater Courts do with the meta?

So me and the team here have tried to make some predictions of how popular Flesh-Eater Courts armies would do in the current and upcoming tournament meta.

  • We expect the army to be strong against Gloomspite Gitz and Sylvaneth (especially given the changes to the Flayers scream which will be devastating against Bravery 6 Dryads).
  • The army can play equally well with the choice of the first or second turn but there are viable low drop builds which will beat most armies (with the exception of the older one-drop books).
  • Against the higher performing armies such as Legion of Nagash, Daughters of Khaine and Stormcast Eternals, it is going to be about ensuring you have the right tools for the job.
  • Daughters of Khaine: your monsters allow a unique advantage vs some of their defensive abilities such as Sisters of Slaughter’s abilities to rebound mortals on save rolls of 6. This really isn’t going to do much against monsters with lower amount of attacks but high damage.  Flesh-Eater Courts can be also much faster than Daughters of Khaine allowing Flesh-Eater Courts to choose which fights it takes.
  • Legions of Nagash: you are going to be faster and have more damage output in most cases allowing you to pick your fights once again, if you can overwhelm Legions of Nagash with board position then you should do ok. However, you need to be careful your main supporting spells don’t get unbound.
  • Stormcast Eternals: could be a much harder army to face for Flesh-Eater Courts given the ability to re deploy and take out key units (depending on what flavour Stormcast Eternals is being run of course -an Anvils of Heldenhammer shooting list would cause trouble).  Flesh-Eater Courts is largely reliant on its heroes to stay alive for all its potential if these go down you are left with units that really lack any ability by themselves.
  • The army is likely to be weaker against strong ranged damage armies: Stormcast Eternals, Kharadron Overlords and Disciples of Tzeentch.

Phew. So that’s the review for now. I can’t wait to see how the army gets on when the world’s players get hold of it and get some games in. We’ll revisit the book in a few months and see how it is holding up.