AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar

Idoneth Deepkin: First Thoughts

Hey all, today I have my first thoughts on the new Idoneth Deepkin battletome for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. Games Workshop kindly provided me a free review copy. Let’s get in to it!

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Idoneth Deepkin Summary

  • The tide mechanic has been retained and strengthened as there are now several ways to stack multiple tide effects in the same turn. 
    • Ionarch enclave allowing you to stack Flood and Ebb Tide with other tides.  So you could have retreat and charge and strikes first in turn 3 in order to gain the charge benefits (such as on the Akhelian King’s Bladed Polearm)
    • Akhelian King command ability allowing you to have High Tide, in addition to the normal turn tide effects, in turns other than turn 3.  So if you are in place for a turn 2/3 double then you can have High Tide in turns 2 and 3 to make sure you are always hitting first. 
  • Forgotten Nightmares fixed to deal with Sentinels and the option for a ritual to limit shooting in the first turn to no longer than 12”.
    • “Friendly IDONETH DEEPKIN units can only be picked as the target of a shooting attack if they are the closest eligible target to the attacking model”
  • Multiple build options – with mixed arms or Namarti builds much more viable than previously. Namarti certainly have legs with their 2” reach, low points cost and combat output, as well as the enclave support of Dhom-Hain or Mor’Phann.
  • Strong push away from Akhelian Guard builds. 
    • No more +3 to charge from Soulscryer, 
    • Ishlaen Guard up 40 points and can no longer receive bonuses to save
    • The Eels’ Fangs and Lashing Tails have been reduced in range and strength
    • the Aspect of the Sea, Volturnos and Akhelian King bubble abilities now are smaller and don’t work on missile attacks or on mounts
  • All the Isharann heroes have increased survivability with improved armour and ward saves.  A great change given you will want at least one Isharann hero to take advantage of the new Rituals to affect the tides. 
  • High movement (with cavalry and Flood and Ebb Tides), but less likely to use off board deployment now that the Soulscryer has lost the +3 to charge. This also means opponents have to worry less about combat punch appearing in their back field or on an exposed flank.
  • Strong damage output with decent rend, but limited mortal wound output or ways to combat very high save stacking or ward saves.  The Aspect of the Sea Tsunami of Terror spell helps with reducing saves. Combine that with an Akhelian King hitting on the charge at -3 rend and you will lift even the toughest save stacked 2+ armour save characters.

Idoneth Deepkin: Battle Traits

Tides of Death

  • The tides are unchanged.
  • Now any ISHARANN HERO general can flip the tides.

Isharann Rituals

  • You can access a ritual to influence the tides if you have any ISHARANN units in your army (Tidecaster, Lotann, Soulscryer, Soulrender, Elthain Ill-Fated).  Pick one of the following:
    • During Low Tide, friendly IDK units cannot be picked as the target of a shooting attack unless the attacking model is within 12” of that unit
    • +1 to run and charge rolls for friendly IDK units affected by Flood Tide
    • Friendly NAMARTI units have a 5+ ward during High Tide
    • Before a friendly IDK unit retreats during Ebb Tide, roll a dice for each enemy unit within 3” of that unit.  On a 4+, that enemy unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. 
  • Rituals are selected in the first battle round, after command points have been generated, but before the turn starts, so you can tailor the ritual to fit your opponent.
  • A Tidecaster will allow you to pick two, and Lotann would allow you to pick one and apply it to a nearby IDK unit (so you could gain some shooting protection for your Akhelian King for instance).  


  • Enclaves reduced down to one special rule each. 
  • Several viable options.  Each tends to lead you down a particular army build path.  
    • Ionarch – Akhelians
    • Fuethan – Allopexes
    • Dhom-Hain or Mor’Phann – 
    • Nautilar – Leviadons


  • Gives you a replacement heroic action for an IONARCH AKHELIAN HERO (Volturnos or an Akhelian King).  Pick 1 friendly IONARCH AKHELIAN unit wholly within 12” of that HERO.  Until the end of that turn, you can choose for that unit to be affected by either the Flood Tide or Ebb Tide ability in addition to any other abilities from the Tides of Death table they are affected by. 


  • Gives you a replacement monstrous rampace for a NAUTILAR LEVIADON.  Change the Rend characteristic of that LEVIADON’s Massive Scythed Fins and Crushing Jaws to -3 until the end of the next combat phase. So assuming full health then that is
    • Scythed Fins 2” 4, 2+, 3+, -3, 4 damage
    • Crushing Jaws 1” 2, 2+, 2+. -3, 3 damage
  • Leviadons can be Battleline (useful for sticking them in Hunters of the Heartlands too)


  • Add 3 to the number of slain models returned to MOR’PHANN NAMARTI units returned by a MOR’PHANN SOULRENDER. So you will be adding 3+D3 a turn, or 6+2D3 a battle round.  NB: the Soulrender Lurelight ability does not stack on the same unit, so if you have multiple Soulrenders you need to pick different units.   


  • Allopexes can be Battleline. 
  • Allopexes can also be bought as three single units in a Bloodthirsty Shiver (similar to the Rot Coven in Nurgle)
  • At the start of the combat phase, you can pick 1 unit from each Bloodthirsty Shiver in your army.  Until the end of that phase, unmodified hits of 6 for that unit’s Ferocious Bites score 2 hits instead of 1.  If the attacking unit is within 3” of at least 1 other Allopex from the same Bloodthirsty Shiver then you score 3 hits. 


  • Settle in – this one is long and complex. Basically, Namarti go choppy-choppy or redeploy en masse.
  • If you take the first turn in the current battle round, in your combat phase, after a friendly DHOM-HAIN NAMARTI unit has fought for the first time in that phase, if there are no enemy units within 3” of that DHOM-HAIN NAMARTI unit, you can attempt a charge with that unit if it is within 12” of any enemy units.  If that DHOM-HAIN NAMARTI unit finishes that charge move within ½” of an enemy unit, you can pick that unit to fight for a second time in that phase when it is your turn to do so. 
  • If you take the second turn in the current battle round, when a friendly DHOM-HAIN HERO issues the Redeploy command to a friendly DHOM-HAIN NAMARTI unit, you can pick up to 3 friendly DHOM-HAIN NAMARTI units to receive the command instead of only 1 friendly unit. 


  • A BRIOMDAR SOULSCRYRER can bring 3 friendly BRIOMDAR IDONETH DEEPKIN units with them rather than 2.

Command Traits

My picks of the command traits.

Traits of the Akhelians

  • Unstoppable Fury – While this general is affected by the High Tide ability, for each enemy unit within 3” of them during the combat phase, add 2 to the Attacks characteristic of their melee weapons until the end of that phase. 

Traits of the Isharann

  • Teachings of the Turscoll – flips the tides (no longer on the Tidecaster warscroll).

Traits of the Eidolons

  • Ancient Pride – unmodified hit rolls of 1 or 2 made by melee weapons targeting this general fail and the attack sequence ends. NB: unmodified means after rerolls so sadly you don’t get to turn off reroll 1s abilities
  • Nightmare Legacy – Aspects of the Storm get to use a monstrous rampage at the end of the charge phase despite not being a MONSTER
  • Endless Sea Storm – Aspects of the Sea can attempt to cast 1 extra spell if they successful cast a spell that is not unbound with an unmodified casting roll of 7+.

Artefacts of Power

Akhelian Artefacts

  • Potion of Hateful Energy – once per battle, start of your hero phase, drink the potion.  Until end of that turn, +1 to hit and wound rolls for the bearer, +1 to attacks for the bearer’s melee weapons and +1 to run and charge rolls for the bearer.  However, at the start of the next hero phase, the bearer suffers D3 mortal wounds and cannot pile-in until the end of that turn. 

Isharann Artefacts

  • Dritchleech – subtract 1 from casting rolls, unbinding rolls and dispelling rolls for enemy WIZARDS within 18” of the bearer.  Doesn’t work on IDONETH DEEPKIN. 
  • Rune of the Surging Gloomtide – once per battle, at the end of your first movement phase, you can summon a Gloomtide Shipwreck.  Set it up within 12” of the bearer and more than 3” from all models, objectives, other terrain features, endless spells and invocations. 

Eidolon Artefacts

  • Bio-shock Shell – once per battle, start of the combat phase, use the Shell.  Pick one enemy HERO within 9” of the bearer that is visible and roll 3D6.  If roll is greater than that enemy HERO’s Bravery characteristic, the strike-last effect applies to that enemy HERO until the end of that phase. NB: There is a 50% chance of getting an 11 or more on 3D6, 62.5% of a 10 or more, 74% of a 9 or more. 
  • Kraken Tooth – once per battle in your shooting phase, pick 1 enemy unit within 12” of the bearer that is visible and roll a dice.
    • 1: D3 mortal wounds to the bearer
    • 2-5: D3 mortal wounds to the target
    • 6: pick 1 model in the target unit.  If the model has a Wounds characteristic less than 10 it is slain.  If it is 10 or more, that model suffers 2D6 mortal wounds

Mount Traits

You can give a mount trait to 1 DEEPMARE and 1 LEVIADON in your army. 

  • Voidchill Darkness – DEEPMARE – -1 to hit for attacks made by enemy units within 3” of this unit
  • Ancient – LEVIADON – if the Rend characteristic of a weapon used for an attack that targets this unit is -1, change it to – for that attack. 
  • Denizen of the Darkest Depths – LEVIADON – -1 to wound rolls for melee weapons with a Damage characteristic of 1 that target this unit. 
  • Reverberating Carapace – LEVIADON – increase the Void Drum range from 12” to 15”

Lore of the Deeps

  • Steed of Tides (5) – range of 6”.  If cast, pick 1 friendly HERO that is not a MONSTER and that is within range and visible to the caster.  Remove that HERO from the battlefield and set it up again on the battlefield more than 9” from all enemy units.  A unit set up with this ability cannot move in the following movement phase. NB: this isn’t limited to IDONETH DEEPKIN HERO, so could be an allied hero. 
  • Counter-current (6) – pick 1 enemy unit within 18” and visible.  Until your next hero phase, halve run rolls and charge rolls for that unit. 

Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics

Gloomtide Shipwreck

  • Gloomtide Shipwrecks now give a 5+ ward to unmounted IDONETH DEEPKIN units while they are wholly within 6”.  If a unit that does not have the IDONETH DEEPKIN keyword is within 3” of the shipwreck then the ward save is turned off. 
  • Gloomtide Shipwrecks can be garrisoned.  If it is a small piece, then it can be garrisoned by up to 5 IDONETH DEEPKIN models with a Wounds characteristic of 5 or less that do not have mounts.  If it is a large piece, then by up to 10 IDONETH DEEPKIN models (with the same conditions). 


  • Expanded to include Cities of Sigmar, Daughters of Khaine, Lumineth Realm-Lords, Stormcast Eternals, Sylvaneth.  So if you are feeling the absence of mortal wounds, just ally in 2 Stormdrake Guard. 


Aspect of the Storm

  • Drench with Hate – the  +1 to wound bubble has now been limited so that it only applies to melee attacks and does not work on mounts.
  • Gained the TOTEM keyword for an increased range for command abilities (but the Aspect of the Sea does not).  

Aspect of the Sea

  • Missile attack range reduced from 15” to 12”
  • Deep Sea Sceptre lost an attack and is now 4+ to wound instead of 3+
  • Dormant Energies – the D3 wounds of healing now happens when you successful cast spells, rather than when you choose not to unbind or dispel.  Good change
  • Tranquility of the Abyss – grants a Bravery characteristic of 10 for friendly IDK units wholly within 18” rather than giving +3 to Bravery
  • Tsunami of Terror spell now reduced the save of D3 enemy units within range by 1 against melee attacks until your next hero phase.  NB: the Core Rules FAQ says you can select the same unit multiple times unless specified otherwise, so you could have up to -3 to save rolls on an enemy unit. However, there are no innate bonuses to cast so you are relying on Arcane terrain and the inbuilt re-roll to casting rolls to hit that 7 to cast.
  • Take an Arcane Tome for 3 spells rerolling and using the heal and debuff spells to support the rest of your army. 


  • Now Bravery 10 (as he should be) rather than 8
  • Astra Solus reduced from 5 attacks to 4 attacks, but is now -2 rend and a straight 3 damage (rather than -1 and D3)
  • Fangs and Talons now do D3 damage instead of just 1
  • Treated as a general, even if not picked as the general. 
  • The magic shield works against endless spells as well as against spells now. 
  • First Among Akhelians has changed from re-roll 1s for Akhelians wholly within 18” to +1 to hit for melee weapons by friendly Akhelian units (excluding mounts) wholly within 12”
  • The Supreme Lord of the Tides bubble has also dropped from wholly within 18” to wholly within 12”.

Akhelian King

  • A combat monster – can be made very killy with 10 attacks, 2s, 2s, rend 3, damage 3
  • Bladed Polearm now increased to 2+ to wound (from 3+) and a straight 2 damage, instead of D3 damage.  It also now has -3 Rend on the charge (as well as being 3 damage)
  • Greatsword up to 5 attacks and a flat 2 damage instead of D3
  • Falchion improved to 3+ to wound, from 4+
  • The Fang and Talons attacks have also improved from 1 damage to D3
  • The Akhelian Paragon bubble has also been reduced from 12” to 9” and only works on melee attacks and doesn’t cover mounts any more
  • Lord of Tides ability is now much better – once per battle, at the end of your charge phase, you can pick up to D3 different friendly IDK units wholly within 12” and until the end of that turn, the units picked are affected by High Tide as well as the other tide effects. 
  • Also increased to 10 Bravery

Isharann Tidecaster

  • Save increased from 6+ to 4+ and gained a 5+ ward (but no longer ignores the first wound allocated).
  • Bravery improved from 7 to 8. 
  • Now has two combat profiles
    • Staff – 1” 2, 4+, 3+, -1, 2
    • Bite – 1” 2, 3+, 4+, – , 1
  • No longer flips the tide, but allows you to select two Rituals instead of 1
  • Riptide spell has been changed so that the D3 mortal wounds happen immediately rather than at the next hero phase. 

Lotann Warden of the Soul Ledgers

  • Also now 4+ armour save, with a 5+ ward and 8 bravery
  • Catalogue of Souls has now been changed to +1 to wound for melee attacks by friendly IDK units wholly within 12”
  • New Fount of Willpower ability – once per battle, at the start of your hero phase, you can pick 1 Ritual and 1 friendly IDK unit wholly within 12” of this unit.  Until your next hero phase, the unit you picked is affected by that ritual in addition to any others it is affected by. 
    Whisper it, is Lotann actually an option now?

Isharann Soulscryer

  • Also now a 4+ armour save, 5+ ward save and 8 bravery
  • The missile attack is shorter range but deadlier – 12”, 8, 2+, 4+, -1, 1
  • Finger claw wounds on a 3+
  • Soulscryer has lost +3 to charge but kept the Finder of Ways. That change alone is now likely to see the Soulscryer not used. 

Isharann Soulrender

  • The Soulrender has gained a 5+ ward saver
  • The Talunhook has now doubled from 2 to 4 attacks and the Serrated Bill has changed from D3 to 3 attacks. 
  • The Lurelight bubble has grown from wholly within 12” to wholly within 18” and the bonus for slaying enemy models with your Talunhook has changed.  It is no longer +1 to the D3, but instead you can swap to a straight return of 3 slain models.  The proviso has been added that the Lurelight ability cannot be used more than once per turn on the same unit. 
  • The Hangman’s Knot ability has changed to once per battle, at the end of the combat phase, you can pick 1 enemy model that has a Wounds characteristic of 7 or less, does not have a mount and is within 3” of this unit.  Roll 2D6, if the result is greater than the enemy model’s Wound characteristic, it is slain. 

Elthain’s Soulraid

  • Slightly improved combat profile and has gained the 5+ ward save common to Isharann heroes
  • Soulnet has changed to be the same as the Hangman’s Knot ability for the Soulrender
  • Lurelight has also been changed to match the new Soulrender ability. 
  • So if you want a Soulrender with the added bonus of ablative wounds from the Soulraid then here is your option.  Paying 60 points more for 4 extra wounds (one of which has a 6+ ward save) and a bit of extra damage. 

Akhelian Ishlaen Guard

  • You now ignore modifiers (both positive and negative) for save rolls that target this unit.  The Save still increases to 3+ on the charge. 
  • The Helsabre is now -1 rend instead of –
  • Fangs and Lashing Tails have been combined into a shorter range profile – 1” 3, 3+, 3+, -1, D3
  • Musician and Standard Bearer have both been changed to +1 rather than a re-roll 
  • Up to 7 Bravery (instead of 6)

Akhelian Morrsarr Guard

  • Biovoltaic Blast now happens after you make a charge move, rather than at the start of the combat phase.  Mortal wounds happen on a 4+, rather than 3+ (but you do add 1 to the roll if the number of models in the enemy unit is greater than the number of models in the Morrsarr Guard unit, so more chance of hitting the D3 mortals on a 5/6). 
  • Voltspear is now only 1” reach instead of 2”
  • Fangs and Lashing Tails have been combined into a shorter range profile – 1” 3, 3+, 3+, -1, D3
  • Musician and Standard Bearer have both been changed to +1 rather than a re-roll 
  • Up to 7 Bravery (instead of 6)

Akhelian Allopexes

  • Allopexes are back down to 8 wounds (presumably to benefit from the Leviadon aura) after their brief sojourn up to 10 wounds with Fury of the Deep. 
  • The Barbed Hooks and Blades have gone up to -1 Rend from -. 
  • NB: the Akhelian King and Volturnos’ bubble will work on the Barbed Hooks and Blades, but not the Allopexes’ Ferocious Bite. 

Akhelian Leviadon

  • A chunky increase to 500 points
  • The Harpoon Launchers are now D3 damage instead of 1 damage
  • Crushing Charge – has been changed to be an amended Stomp monstrous rampage.  If you Stomp against an enemy unit with a Wounds characteristic of 1 then the enemy unit suffers D6 mortal wounds on a 2+ instead of D3

Akhelian Thrallmaster

  • No change from Fury of the Deep

Namarti Thralls

  • No change from Fury of the Deep

Namarti Reavers

  • No change from Fury of the Deep


Namarti Reavers1701700
Namarti Thralls1301300
Aspect of the Sea3253250
Aspect of the Storm33035525
Elthain’s Soulraid14521065
Akhelian King23025020
Bloodthirsty ShiverN/A495N/A
Morrsarr Guard1951950
Ishlaen Guard15519540

Interview with Vince Venturella, Warhammer Weekly

Hi Folks, its Michael from Doom & Darkness and in this interview, I catch up with Mr Vince Venturella from Warhammer Weekly. Vince has the world’s largest weekly Age of Sigmar talk show, countless invaluable painting guides and tutorials for the aspiring painter.

Vince’s YouTube channel has over 40,000 subscribers and I wanted to pick his brain on content creation, game design and the future of Age of Sigmar.

Origins of Warhammer Weekly

Hi Vince, firstly thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me and congratulations on the success of your channel. To start the interview off I was wondering if you could tell us what and where your inspiration for the Warhammer Weekly show came from and if you had/have any YouTube role models that you looked to for inspiration?”

Vince Venturella: There was no real great plan, it was just something that I thought would be fun. At the time (this is almost 6 years ago now), Nick from Long Island Wargaming had done a hangout show a few times called Warhammer Weekly, but he was not doing them regularly and had all together stopped for a while. I reached out to him and asked if he minded if I ran with the show and brought some formalization to it and he was fine with the idea.

My inspiration was things like the Weekly Planet (a fantastic Podcast from Australia) in the way they broke up their segments, as well how other traditional interview segments/late night shows were run.

I wanted to make something that covered the current news, but also had a main topic and mini segments sprinkled throughout. My real goal was to make sure the show always happened, I wanted to make sure we were always there on the same day every week to bring the show to folks so they could count on a little bit of new Warhammer fun each week.

Advice to new content creators

New content creators are popping up all the time, if you could give them any advice of “best practice” as such or some guiding principles to success what would they be?” And now on the flip side if you were to provide some generalised “things to avoid” What might they be

Vince Venturella: Oh boy, I am probably the wrong person to answer this, I mean my own method was just keep doing things and getting them wrong and slowly make them right.

I suppose my ‘what to do’ would be to make sure you have a good sound set-up, that is something I should have done far sooner.

Try to be regular with your content, that is maybe the most important thing. YouTube (and indeed the audience) is more likely to pay attention if they know your content always shows up around the same time on a regular schedule.

My best advice is avoid the Perfect as the Enemy of the good. Some people spend lots of money and time and research everything before doing a show. Your early content will be bad, that is okay. Listen, learn, and refine and improve as you go.

Variety of content

Now your channel has both gaming and hobby focused content, the Warhammer Weekly show largely focuses on the gaming side of Age of Sigmar, but your channel often features standalone videos on game design as well as the multitude of painting tutorials. Do you find that any singular sort of content or component of your channel has outweighed the others in building the channel’s success? If so, do you have any examples you can give to demonstrate this?”

Vince Venturella: I think the Hobby Content ultimately draws people to the channel. It is more universal, regardless of the tabletop game you play, there is hobby to be done.

My hope is that in doing that, some folks also check out Warhammer Weekly (whether they play AoS or not) and I always hope to be a good ambassador for the game.

Some videos I have done like reviewing all the Miniature brand paints, achieving smooth blends or how to glaze are the type of videos that are ever green and still help folks to discover the channel years after they were uploaded.

I think that advice is fantastic and very helpful to people looking to create their own content. The next thing I wanted to talk to you about is game design and Age of Sigmar as you have some experience in this space by both developing your own systems and consulting on some big-name games such as Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition.

Tabletop game design

In your opinion, are there any key areas that Age of Sigmar needs to focus and improve on to make the game more enjoyable for all? If so, what are these areas, and do you have any suggestions on how they could be improved?”

Vince Venturella: I think the game is ultimately in a really good place. As someone who has been playing this game for 22 years now, it is amazing to look back and see the growth. That being said, there is always room to improve.

My best advice at this point would be that we still have some proud nails that pop up and we need to do some additional work to bring those in line or stop those from being published. We have elements that will show up in books that create negative play experiences.

My ultimate concern is never power/broken builds/balance. That is not what I am after. What I am always looking at is a simple question – “is this going to create a fun experience for the majority of the audience?” Sometimes we have had elements in recent books where the clear answer is no.

My best advice would be to have Games Workshop follow suit to other game creators and establish a formal developer position that sits in between design and QA. Their role is to run the numbers in detail and bring the outliers back in. Ultimately, that task is too complex for playtesters and isn’t something that should be done by designers who need to be free to create.

I think that would go a long way to smoothing out some of those last rough edges we don’t want (we always want a few rough edges, rough edges are how you grab onto the game).

Rules “bloat” and game design

If we look back from the beginning of the Age of Sigmar to now, we have seen the rules continue to expand and develop over time. As the game designers develop and work in new design spaces, the sheer number of rules and varying types of interactions that occur within the game continues to grow. Some people would call this rules bloat, and perhaps this is a loaded term, but my question to you is. In your opinion, is rules bloat an inevitable outcome of continuous improvement and game design, or is it something that can be avoided while still improving and adding to the game?

Vince Venturella: Rules bloat is always a risk, but it is not inevitable. D&D 5e has been going for basically 6 years and is still tight. The way they developed is wise. More content focused on running/playing games than just options for characters.

So how we would translate this is more box games, small model expansions, narrative boxes (Firestorm) or ancillary games (Warcry). Largely, we see this has been a great model.

We are entering an interesting time now with all the army books that needed to be updated complete.

Where we go from here with things like new armies don’t necessarily cause bloat, because they have a set audience (namely the players of that army).

The key is to be careful about the number of overlays you create that make more rules that become the norm and have us all lugging 6-9 books to every tourney. Endless Spells are cool, they were a good addition. If we have Endless Spells, Fantastic Vehicles, Mercenary Monsters, The Big Book of Battalions and Miracles for Hire in 3 years and those are all additional layers of things going on in the game, we are going to be in a rough spot, but I don’t expect this.

The future of Age of Sigmar: a hard reset?

Often with gaming systems, we see a continual expansion of the rules until it becomes too complicated and creates a barrier to entry that is too great for new players to overcome. traditionally we then see a hard reset and subsequently a contraction or reset of the game system often in the form of a new edition. “If you are to imagine where the Age of Sigmar is in say three years, what does it look like? is it the game we know and love today or do you see some form of hard reset in the near future?” 

Vince Venturella: I don’t see a hard reset any time soon. Traditionally if you look at the history of the hard resets, they are on quite a long time frame from Games Workshop. The first reset was 9 years, the second was 9 years, and the third was 15 years, so sitting here about to hit our 5th anniversary, I would say we are still a distance away.

When I look forward in three years, I see no reason to think we would be in need of such a thing. The rules are pretty tight, and we have kept them largely simple. We can clean up something like the Activation Wars in a GHB and that is really the tricky proud nail at this point in time.

My hope would be we have several new armies, we have relaunched some books with expansion forces (think of how they have done Stormcast releases) and for the most part, things have remained fairly clean and current without the need to crush the rules back down.

I will also say that we are entering an interesting challenge we haven’t ever been in before. The freedom of the team to create new armies has meant that we are steadily increasing forces. With the release of Lumineth and Sons of Behemat, we will have something like 24 distinct armies. That is much higher than any point in the game’s history, so hitting the reset button carries a large and direct cost to GW. They would then be put on a strong treadmill to get content for the new system out very quickly and something like Indexes (Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition) or Ravening Hordes (Warhammer Fantasy Battles 6th Edition) might not be enough.

The future of Age of Sigmar: Activation Wars

“For me personally I have always said that the introduction of the always strikes first/ always strikes last rules set was a mistake. I feel like the more rules that are introduced with the new and different armies which break the core rules of the game, the further the game moves away from those very core rules that made the game so good in the first instance. In relation to the Activation Wars what do you think needs to change? Is it just the interaction between different rules in different armies or is there more to it?

Vince Venturella: So this is a tough answer.

Games like Age of Sigmar and D&D are examples of exception based design (games with simple core rules and the functional elements within the game system create ‘exceptions’ to those core rules).

When you are a designer working in exception based design, your goal is to explore design space. For example, the game has a core rule that says, when you run, you can roll a d6 and add that distance to your movement. An exception based design element might be that you can always treat a Run roll as a ‘6’ or reroll that Run roll, or gain +1, whatever the specifics, in all cases, it’s altering the base rules of the game.

So everything is always breaking the core rules of the game as you say above – that’s not special, that is just design. We see it on 99% of the warscrolls because that is how you make a special ability for the most part.

When it comes to the Activation Wars, the challenge is that we created additional phases (the Start of Combat, Combat, and End of Combat phases), which are all acting differently and interacting poorly together. Perhaps the simplest answer is to eliminate these phases all together.


The idea of something striking first is a sensible rule. In theory, and as a way to bring narrative to life, it just makes sense. We just have to be careful of the implementation.

So perhaps the easiest answer is simply that if you can Fight at the Start of Combat, then you can do so, but so can anyone else, and all abilities that trigger in such a way or activate in such a way alternate, just like everything else in the combat phase. So if you have a unit that strikes first, you get to choose that unit and fight, but if your opponent also has one, it’s their turn next as opposed to your whole fighting first army attacking and only once you have left the “Start of Combat” phase do we return to the normal phase the game expects.

In other words and to be more succinct, the error here was not in the fights first, but in creating additional phases that the base rules didn’t have the rigor to support. Use the base rules and let the units fight first in the normal back and forth sequence that is already expected in the game.

We have had some of these rules floating around since the very first warscrolls in 2015 and for the most part, they weren’t problematic. The mechanic became oppressive when these rules were combined with extremely powerful creatures (Ghoul King on Terrorgeist) or whole armies (Slaanesh).

Ed: check out the NicoLab articles on the Activation Wars for more background information (Part 1 / Part 2).

The future of Age of Sigmar: a dream faction?

Ok finally let us finish off with a little bit of fun. “if you could design, develop and introduce a new army faction into Age of Sigmar what would it be? What does it look like? what’s the idea behind them and how would they play?

Vince Venturella: Well, if you had asked me 6 months ago, it would have been Giants, but my dreams came through there. Since you have given me all this power however, I am going to go crazy.

What I want is the army of living energy. As the Realms are full of magic and basically alive in and of themselves, I want an army of magical creatures (think of a combination of crystalline creatures and elementals from Dungeons and Dragons).

Classic Elemental Portraits

We would start with four of the realms and leave ourselves room to expand to the other four at a later time.

Some of these beings would be humanoid to suit the purpose, but some would be magic given a completely alien form, roiling liquid metal skirmishers from Chamon, lava encased infantry from Aqshy, Grave dirt elementals from Shyish, you could think of a hundred of these things.

I think it would be cool to see the Mortal Realms themselves make an appearance and be an agent in our game.

Well thank you for taking the time to do this interview Vince and I am sure many people will get much value from your insight. If anyone wants to hear more from Mr Vince Venturella then be sure to check out his YouTube channel and stay tuned to AoS Shorts in the near future for more articles and interviews  from various Age of Sigmar icons.


Grand Tournament Finals Report

Hey all, The Games Workshop Warhammer Age of Sigmar Grand Tournament Finals were held this weekend (28/29 September 2019). The Grand Final is held between up to 120 players (with the top 40 players from each of three heats qualifying). All the qualifiers from the heats facing off at Warhammer World for the title of Grand Champion for 2019. In this report, you’ll find the results, awards, top lists, pictures and all the coverage from the weekend.

If you want to stroll down memory lane, you can read my report from the 2018 Grand Finals, which saw Benjamin Savva take it out with Slaughter Troupe Daughters of Khaine. A list not to dissimilar to what is still doing well on the top tables of large events.

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

AoS GT Finals Tournament Pack

The Age of Sigmar Grand Tournament Grand Final for 2019 was fought over six randomly selected scenarios from the 18 Pitched Battle battleplans.  The scenarios were drawn at the start of the tournament.  Realm rules (including spells), realmscape features and Malign Sorcery were all in play.   So the rounds were:

  • 1: Scorched Earth – Realm of Metal – Irresistible Force
  • 2: Relocation Orb – Realm of Beasts (no Monstrous Beast) – Hungering Animus
  • 3: Battle for the Pass – Realm of Shadow – Shrouded Lands
  • 4: Shifting Objectives – Realm of Fire – Every Step a League
  • 5: Total Conquest – Realm of Death – Life Leeching
  • 6: Focal Points – Realm of Life – Verdant Landscape

In terms of scoring, there is always a strong element of painting and sports scores in the overall results.  The scoring system was:

  • major victory – 6 points
  • minor victory – 4 points
  • draw – 2 points
  • loss – 0 points
  • 1 point for each favourite game vote
  • 1 point for each favourite army vote

At the end of the event, you selected two of your opponents to receive favourite game (who you liked playing) votes, and two of your opponents to receive favourite army (what you liked the look of) votes.

Kill points earned was the tiebreaker.  Summoned units did not count towards the total points value of enemy units destroyed and you get the full 2,000 points if you wipe out the enemy.

You can read the full pack for more details.

AoS GT Finals Results

So another great weekend of Warhammer. Congrats to:

  • 1st: James Tinsdale – Hedonites of Slaanesh (Godseekers)
  • 2nd: Byron Orde – Bonesplitterz
  • 3rd: Laurie H-W – Sylvaneth (Dreadwood)
  • Best Painted: Terry Pike (Nurgle)
  • Best Sports: Lars D. Hellwig (6 out of 6 votes)

Here are the full results

If you are interested in the standings before sports and painting (i.e. pure game score) then here they are.

Painting Nominations

Just trying to work out the full list of painting nominations. Here are some pictures of nominated armies 🙂

AoS GT Finals Top Lists

As with other Games Workshop events, lists are submitted on the day. So I try to scramble round and grab what I can from the Internet and what Warhammer Live now kindly send through from the streamed games. So here we have the top 10 lists based on battle score only.

1st – James Tinsdale – Slaanesh

2nd – Chris Caves – Changehost

3rd – Marc Brookes – Skaven

4th – Byron Orde – Bonesplitterz

5th – Laurie HW – Dreadwood

6th – Mike Wilson – Slaanesh

7th – Georgios Moudatsos – Beasts of Chaos

8th – Terry Pike – Nurgle

9th – Sam Saunders – Stormcast

10th – Dan Ford – Skaven

Warhammer Live Coverage

The Warhammer Live team on Twitch streamed games through the weekend. Wade and the team sent me through the lists and details of the games.

Game 1: Slaanesh (Godseekers) vs Ironjawz

James Tinsdale (Team England) and his four Keepers Slaanesh list took on David Ellis and his Ironjawz. By way of reminder, this round was Scorched Earth in Chamon, with the Irresistable Force realmscape.

It was short and very bloody – very, very bloody.

James chose the Retake agenda and achieved it. David failed to get Secret Mission.

Game 2: Stormcast (+ Gotrek) vs Gloomspite Gitz

Round 2 saw Will Barton (UK Masters attendee) and his Stormcast (+ Gotrek!) play Dan from Spain with his Gloomspite Gitz. The Relocation Orb in Ghur, with the Hungering Animus (but no Monstrous Beasts rule).

Will had the Onslaught hidden agenda (and achieved it), while Dan chose the Conserve agenda (but failed).

Game 3: Khorne (Reapers of Vengeance) vs Flesh-Eater Courts (Blisterkin)

Game 3 saw a heavyweight match-up between Russ “The Face” Veal (Playtester / Facehammer / Team England) with his Reapers of Vengeance (feat Archaon) versus Steve Curtis (UK Masters attendee and all round top bloke from Bucks!) with his Blisterkin Flesh-Eater Courts. The match was Battle for the Pass in Ulgu, with the Shrouded Lands realmscape (no effect).

Both players took and achieved the Retake agenda.

Game 4 – Daughters of Khaine (Hagg Narr) vs Hedonites of Slaanesh (Pretenders)

Piotr Kurkowski (London GT champion) and his Hagg Narr Daughters of Khaine took on Andy Hughes (UK Masters attendee) and his Pretenders.

Shifting Objectives in Aqshy, with Every Step a League.

Game 5 – Beasts of Chaos (Phantasmagoria) vs Disciples of Tzeentch (Changehost)

Game 5 saw Georgios Moudatsos and his Beasts of Chaos vs Chris Caves and his Changehost. Both had giant-killing runs to get to round 5 with Chris defeating Benjamin Savva and Byron Orde on the way. They played Total Conquest in the Realm of Shyish with Life Leeching.

Game 6 – Slaanesh (Godseekers) vs Beasts of Chaos (Phantasmagoria)

The top table saw undefeated James Tinsdale take on Georgious Moudatsos for the overall title (subject to sports votes and painting). Focal Points in Realm of Ghyran with Verdant Landscape.

GT Finals Photo Gallery

A collection of photos from across the weekend.

Tournament Round-Up

Hey all, doing a quick Age of Sigmar tournament round-up to catch-up on events from the last two weekends. Here you’ll find the results and lists from events in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Oklahoma, California and Quebec! The ADFA ANZAC Cup, the Warhammer Championship for Australia Heat 1, Iron Realms, the Broadside Bash and the Tireux D’des Grand Clash respectively. The common theme is Flesh-Eater Courts and Skaven continue to perform well and take a large number of podium spots.

If you want to see what is coming up check out the Age of Sigmar Tournament Calendar ( and use the Google Calendar I update, or if you are running an event get in touch at [email protected].

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

The ADFA ANZAC Cup (Canberra)

The ADFA ANZAC Cup was held in early April in Canberra. A two-day, five game event run by the Australian Defence Force Wargaming Association.

The awards:

  • Best General
    • 1st: Ashley McEwan (Nighthaunt)
    • 2nd: James Moorhouse (Order Draconis)
    • 3rd: Steve Gibb (Gloomspite Gitz)
  • Best Painted
    • 1st: Brandt Cers
    • 2nd: Ben Spinetti
    • 3rd: Andrew Bigwood
  • Best Sports
    • Nathan Princi (19 out of 30 players got best sports nominations!)

You can find the full results on TTT and the full lists here.

The lists for the podium places were:

Mr Stats, LLV and the Honest Wargamer, provided the breakdown of the event meta here. As you can see, Australia still going strong with some Order Serpentis!

Ash, the event winner, also kindly sent through some photos of the event (held in the same venue as CanCon).

The Warhammer Champs for Australia (Heat 1)

Australia’s new Warhammer Championship Store at Mt Gravatt recently played host to the first heat in the Australian Age of Sigmar Grand Championship. 24 players competing for 6 spaces in the Grand Final over 4/5 May.

The results were:

  • Best General
    • 1st: Michael Creighton (FEC)
    • 2nd: Gabe (Legion of Azgorh)
    • 3rd: Jack (???)
    • Other qualifiers: James, Hayden, Keaghan
  • Favourite Player
    • Christopher
  • Best Presented Army
    • James Lynch (Blades of Khorne)

Some photos from the event and of the Warhammer Championship Store

Best painted went to James Lynch and his stunning Blades of Khorne army.

Gabe’s army (that came second in the event) was also a great looking Legion of Azgorh army with a cool centrepiece conversion.

Iron Realms GT (Oklahoma)

The Iron Realms GT, another five game, two-day event in Oklahoma, USA.

You can find the full results on Best Coast Pairings and below.

The next gallery has the podium placing lists – with a special shout out to Scott who piloted his Wanderers to 6th place. You can find all the other lists on Best Coast Pairings.

The Broadside Bash (California)

The Broadside Bash is a Californian multi-system event now in its 10th year. Age of Sigmar has been growing from year to year at the Broadside Bash.

The top 12 players were:

And the podium winning lists:

And some pictures courtesy of Alex Ramirez.

The Tireux D’des Grand Clash (Quebec)

The Tireuz D’des Grand Clash was a 40+ player Age of Sigmar event held in Quebec with 6 games over two days. This is one of the largest Age of Sigmar events held in Canada. You can check out the Facebook group, or the pack (French, English), for more details on the event.

The full results were:

The podium lists were:

CanCon 2019 – Report

So CanCon 2019 – what a truly amazing event filled with 200 loud, hospitable, funny and competitive Australian, New Zealand and American gamers in 40 degree heat in a massive tin shed. The pinnacle of Southern Hemisphere Warhammer beamed to the world via the Honest Wargamer. #AussieMeta showing that Kharadron Overlords, Warherds, Beasts of Chaos, Swifthawk Agents, and Mixed Destruction can all outperform the global statistics and defy expectations.

I’m writing this report on the plane back from Sydney to Auckland as I try to personally digest the story of CanCon 2019, while we wait for the full results to be published. You can find all the initial results and awards here and also read my report on the Tasman Cup – the precursor team event between New Zealand and Australia. I will update the post with pictures and videos once I get some time on the ground.

Reflections on CanCon 2019

What struck us visiting Kiwis the most was the warm embrace we received from the Australian Age of Sigmar community. So many people came up to say hello, introduce themselves, show us around and take care of us. The whole long weekend was filled with a common love of the hobby and good vibes. It was the ultimate testament of the health of the Australian Age of Sigmar community!

Friday – set-up, Tasman Cup, and BBQ

Friday was set-up day – over 50 gamers turned out at the EPIC convention centre in Canberra to help Clint and the TO team to help set up 100 tables with mats, board toppers and terrain. Even before the addition of the player terrain, the tables looked great because hobbyists and gaming clubs from around Australia contributed terrain to the cause. The event truly was a group effort from the Australian scene, led by Clint and the Heralds of War team.

Friday afternoon for us was the inaugural Tasman Cup – a team competition between New Zealand and Australia with bragging rights in the line. You can read how that went down in my Tasman Cup report.

Friday evening was the perfect icebreaker – Michael of the Doom and Darkness YouTube channel and the South Australian boys put on a true Aussie BBQ for over 50 gamers at the Carotel. The evening was whiled away with sausages, steaks, banter, goon (wine in a sack), Blue Tinglers (just ask Randy or Nathan), and a certain #SpiderRidah! It was a great way to meet many people that we only knew from conversations online ahead of the weekend’s gaming. I’d highly recommend other destination tournaments think about arranging group Friday night entertainment.

Saturday – unexpected heroes & #AussieMeta

So day 1 of the tournament dawned, 41 degree heat, blazing sun and thousands of gamers gathered outside the three large halls of the EPIC convention centre in order to play 35 different game systems, enter the cosplay competition, attend painting seminars, or shop through the vendor hall. In such conditions, the event organisers arranged for cold water bottles to be distributed to all the players throughout the first day. Great call!

Now before I delve into all the round by round coverage, you can check out all the live-streaming back on the Honest Wargamer twitch and YouTube channels. Tabletop commentary, interviews and my roving reporting from around the whole event.

Round 1 – Three Places of Power

Round 1 was Three Places of Power, fought in Hysh and with the Dazzling Glow realmscape feature.

The first round kicked off and legends started to be made. An Idoneth Deepkin Army with 4 sharks, eels and a turtle kicked off the stream (because #Australia!!!) – sadly that ended as you may predict. However, it was more than made up for around the hall – Swifthawk Agents beat a Murderhost with two Bloodthirsters and scored 1880 kill points! Scourge Privateers beat Gloomspite Gitz and a Vorgorath (1200pt Khorne Dragon) died to clan rats and a Warplock Engineer!!!

The first Gobbapalooza army at a tournament also got a win from teleporting 60 Stabbas across the board, releasing a large unit of Loonsmasha Fanatics and wiping the heart of a Seraphon army off the board. James Moorhouse’s Phoenix Temple army lost its 30 Phoenix Guard for the first time ever, and his three Phoenixes suffered 34 out of 36 wounds, against a Mixed Destruction force but he still held on for the win.

Adam Burt, last year’s winner, got off to a slow start, only able to get a minor victory from a very hard match up for him in this scenario. Morathi held the centre of the board against Adam’s Stormcast and Adam’s Aethervoid Pendulum was not able to do enough to Morathi. Adam’s chances were dented but he wasn’t out.

Round 2 – Better Part of Valour

The second round was Better Part of Valour, in Chamon with the Rust Plague realmscape feature. Given the scenario, there is always a risk of some games finishing early to an alpha rush with objectives being swarmed and burned on turn 1. Now, while we didn’t have any games finish in the first 40 minutes, Skryre, Deepkin, Dreadwood, Murderhost, Spiderfang and other alpha armies were winning through.

My favourite story of this round was Danny Carroll’s Freeguild General on Griffon with Sword of Judgment doing 17 mortal wounds to a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon with Ethereal Amulet in order to take it off in one shot. What a story!

The result of the round would have to have been Paul Grixti’s Swifthawks beating a second Blades of Khorne army. The first two victories for a Swifthawks army at a major tournament!

We also met Dave Broomham this round – a first time tournament player using the Bonesplittas Teef Ruk with 12 Big Stabbas! By this point, Dave had beaten a Gavriel Surecharge Stormcast list and a Maggotkin list (with no monsters)!

The streamed game was Luke’s Scourge Privateers against a Death Army. Sadly this was too hard a match-up for the pirates – which rely on speed, shots and encircling opponents with the Anvilgard rules.

However, we did learn that Pete Bickford, holder of the CanCon 2018 wooden spoon (last place) had won his first two games with Gloomspite and was having a much better 2019.

Round 3 – Border War

The final round for day one was Border War, in Shyish, with the Life Leeching realmscape feature.

By this point, there were still some really interesting match-ups in play. Paul’s Swifthawks flew their way onto the stream and table 16 to play against Bruno’s Sylvaneth army. Bruno was clearly living in the future as he had converted a pram into an army carrying vehicle complete with display board and space for his carry cases. Paul’s Swifthawks again delivered and the shock sensation of day 1 was on 3 major wins!

Other notable match-ups were Eddi MacMichael (DoK) beating Sam Morgan (Mixed Order) on table one, a Gobbapalooza on table two against Gore Pilgrims, a Phoenix Temple vs Stormcast Vanguard army on table three and the Master, Dave Kerr’s Deepkin vs Dreadwood on table four.

Beasts of Chaos were performing well on tables 9 and 14, and Legions of Azgorh were on tables 13 and 15. Dave with his Teef Ruk managed to get Foot of Gork off 7 times in one go to do 28 mortal wounds and turn the game in his favour.

By sheer coincidence, the only two Freeguild armies at the event were drawn against each other on Table 95 and fought out a draw on victory points, with the minor going on kill points. This was a beautiful game as these two armies took first and second in the Best Painted Awards.

Round 4 – Relocating Orb

Day 2 is the day that the top tables start forming and players are pushing for places. So I spent my time focussed on the top 10 tables and who was rising and falling. For rounds 4 to 6 you’ll see the top 10 tables and the results – a bold player name indicates that the player was victorious.

Round 4 was Relocating Orb, in Aqshy, with the realmscape feature, Flaming Missiles, giving extra rend to all shooting over 12″.

Top table, and on the stream, was the reigning Australian Master, the wizard himself, Dave Kerr against the kid, the challenger, Alex Khron with his KO. A combination of the realmscape feature and the Barak Zilfin rules meant that the double Eidolons of the Master were dealt to and we had a massive upset on table one.

  1. Dave Kerr (Deepkin) vs Alex Khron (KO)
  2. Eddi MacMichael (Daughters) vs Sam Morgan (Mixed Order)
  3. Lee Wilmot (Winterleaf) vs Liam Burnett-Blue (Winterleaf)
  4. Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood) vs Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims)
  5. Nick Gentile (Daughters) vs Ryan Kirby (Warherds)
  6. Shaun Bates (Stormcast) vs Ash McEwan (Nighthaunt)
  7. Ben Camden-Smith (Maggotkin) vs Brod (Maggotkin)
  8. Mick Thomson (Grand Host) vs Paul Grixti (Swifthawks)
  9. Tim Neal (Legion of Azgorh) vs Rhys (Legion of Azgorh) – DRAW
  10. Adam Burt (Stormcast) vs Dan Brewer (Tomb Kings/Bye)

Round 5 – Knife to the Heart

Round 5 was Knife to the Heart – the perfect time for this battleplan to act as a separator for the top tables. It can be a real challenge to get the major victory and maximum points in this scenario. This round was fought in Ghyran with the Lifesprings realmscape feature.

  1. Alex Khron (KO) vs Eddi MacMichael (Daughters) – MAJOR
  2. Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims) vs Ryan Kirby (Warherds) – MAJOR
  3. Ash McEwan (Nighthaunt) vs Lee Wilmot (Sylvaneth) – MINOR
  4. Mick Thomson (Grand Host) vs Adam Burt (Stormcast) – MINOR
  5. Ben Camden-Smith (Maggotkin) vs Jesse Perkins (Daughters) – MINOR
  6. Nick Hoen (Daughters) vs Rhys (Legion of Azgorh) -MAJOR
  7. Tim Neal (Legions of Azgorh) vs Charles Black (Dreadwood) – MINOR
  8. Deano Mathews (Mixed Destruction) vs Ethan (Deepkin) – MAJOR
  9. James Morehouse (Phoenix Temple) vs Joel McGrath (Beasts) – MAJOR
  10. Kameron (Deepkin) vs Kent Van’t Schip (Deepkin) – MAJOR

A personal highlight of this round was Alex’s move to win the major victory at the top of turn 3 while snakes were just inches from his lines and home objective. He dropped the Frigate at the bottom of round 2, disembarked the 14 thunderers and khemist from inside, shot off the witch aelves on Eddi’s objective, charged a bloodwrack medusa with cogs, and then retreated immediately out of combat with a run with cogs onto the Daughters of Khaine objectives. Unfortunately the success of the move meant the game ended before he could claim his secondary objective (worth 4 points or the difference between a major and a minor victory).

Round 6 – Focal Points

The final round came down to a battle of Focal Points, in Ghyran with the Hungering Animus Realmscape feature. Top table was Alex’s KO vs Matt Campbell’s Gore Pilgrims – the South Australian wunderkid vs the runner-up at the Australian Masters. Immediately below that table, the battle was equally intense as players fought for podium places and best in alliance awards.

    Alex Khron (KO) vs Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims)
    Ash McEwan (Nighthaunt) vs Mick Thomson (Grand Host)
    Nick Hoen (Grand Host) vs Ben Camden-Smith (Maggotkin)
    Deano Mathews (Mixed Destruction) vs Joel McGrath (Beasts of Chaos)
    Ken Van’t Schip (Deepkin) vs Lee Wilmot (Winterleaf)
    Mick F (Stormcast) vs Chris Tot (Blightkings)
    Nathan Princi (Stormcast – Thundercats!) vs Nick Gentile (Daughters)
    Eddi MacMichael (Daughters/Snakes) vs Luke McFadden (Sacrament)
    Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood) vs Ryan Kirby (Warherds)
    Tim Gunderson (Stormcast) vs Tim Neal (Legion of Azgorh)

Matt Campbell defied the odds, stared the KO Barak Zilfin guns in the face with his Gore Pilgrims with Bloodthirsters and seized the day!

CanCon 2019 Final Standings and Awards

    First Place: Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims)
    Second Place: Nick Hoen (Grand Host of Nagash)
    Third Place: Michael Thomson (Grand Host of Nagash)
    Fourth: Joel McGrath (Beasts of Chaos)
    Fifth: Nathan Princi (Stormcast)
    Sixth: Ken Van’t Schip (Idoneth)
    Seventh: Eddi MacMichael (Daughters)
    Eighth: Chris Tot (Maggotkin)
    Ninth: Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood)
    Tenth: Tim Neal (Legion of Azgorh)
  • Best in Chaos: Joel McGrath (Beasts of Chaos)
  • Best in Death: Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood)
  • Best in Destruction: Joel Hennessy (Gloomspite – SQUIGS!)
  • Best in Order: Nathan Princi (Stormcast)
  • Best Opponent:
    • Third: Brod McMurdo
    • Second: Seth Cook (Goonboss)
    • First: Josh Best
  • Coolest Army – Player’s Choice:
    • Third: Dan Carroll (Freeguild)
    • Second: Tim Barclay (Sylvaneth)
    • First: Blake Kerwick (FEC)
  • Best Painted Army – Judge’s Choice:
    • Third: James Lynch (Blades of Khorne)
    • Second: Danny Carroll (Freeguild)
    • First: Brent Cers (Freeguild)
  • Best Terrain:
    • Third: Randy (the Tasmanian TombKing)
    • Second: Tim Barclay (Forest Treehouses)
    • First: Ben Spinetti (Deepkin waves)
  • Wooden Spoon: Ashley Marr (Beasts of Chaos)
  • Narrative Prize Winners:
    • “Pat” / Pasquale
    • Tristan Smith
    • Jet
    • Randy
    • Ashley Marr
    • Evie
    • Alex Gordon-Carlyle
    • Tim Barclay
    • Luke Stone
    • Pasquale #2

Some final CanCon 2019 highlights

Well with the round by round coverage done, I just wanted to add some final bullet-points on stories from the weekend.

  • All the events around the main event – Doom and Darkness BBQ at the Carotel, the Measured Gaming crew in the campground on Saturday night, the Sydney lads, the Failed Charge guys and the Dwellers Below crew.
  • Everyone sharing cabins at the Carotel – early morning Roo-spotting with Nathan as Magpies circled.
  • Swifthawks going 3-0 on Day One – the postman was delivering
  • Anvilgard Scourge Privateers showing what speed and shooting can do
  • Warherds pushing hard on the top tables and ending 4-2 at the last hurdle
  • All the mirror matches!!!
  • The two top Legion of Azgorh armies battling to a perfect draw in Relocation Orb – matched on victory points, matched on kill points and both happily fighting over a hill on the battlefield.
  • Spiderfang vs Spiderfang in Knife to the Heart – at one point both players looked like they would swap objectives with the skitterstrands popping up at one end while spider riders swarmed over Grots at the other n
  • The Winterleaf match-up between Liam (Durthu) and Lee (6 eels) one of the most precise and technical games of Warhammer I’ve ever seen
  • Chaos Dragons stomping around the tables – either swinging between removing the entire opposing army or dying to lowly Skaven
  • Deano’s Mixed Destruction on table 4 last round, having earned the place by teleporting the Troll Hag onto the opponent’s objective in Knife to the Heart the previous round.
  • David Broomham at his first tournament smashing face with Bonesplittas,m Teef Ruk and 12 Stabbas!!!
  • The German wunderkid, Alex Krohn, showing that shooting is back with a great display with Kharadron Overlords.
  • Danny Carrol’s Freeguild General on Griffon taking out a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon with the ethereal amulet by doing 17 mortal wounds with the Sword of Judgment.
  • The Freeguild vs Freeguild battle on table 95 played between two amazingly painted armies (the guys took first and second in the best painted competition) on great terrain.

Age of Sigmar Dream Team 2019

Rob Boyce (@HardChaff) had the grand idea of running a Warhammer Age of Sigmar Dream Team competition for 2019 as a bit of a laugh. This page summarises the rules and contains the current standings.

AoS Dream Team 2019 Rules

Each entrant selects a team of six Warhammer Age of Sigmar players active in the UK Age of Sigmar tournament scene. The aim of the competition is to have the team with the lowest combined individual rankings on the Bad Dice UK Age of Sigmar rankings by the end of the year.

Now, to make it interesting, and so you don’t just pick the top six players from last year, your team must have a combined ranking of at least 600 for the UK season starting 9 December 2017. Therefore, you need to pick a team containing hidden gems, up and comers or people who’ve picked up a more competitive army for 2019.

The person at the top of leaderboard on the day of public release of General’s Handbook 2019 will win a ticket to the Age of Sigmar event at the London Grand Tournament.

AoS Dream Team 2019 Current Standings

[table id=1 /]

Marc Wilson is currently top with a team of:

  • Benjamin Savva
  • Daniel Ford
  • Tony Moore
  • Darren Watson
  • Ben Murphy
  • Aaron Wilson

You can find the full table here.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

The UK Age of Sigmar Masters are fast approaching, with the title of the best Warhammer Age of Sigmar player in the UK up for grabs on 26 – 27 January 2019].* Today I’ll have an introduction to the Masters event, the attendees, the tournament pack and all the top Age of Sigmar army lists from the event.

The Masters are hosted by Ben Curry and the wider Bad Dice team at Boards and Swords in Derby. You can check out all Ben’s coverage on Instagram, on The Grand Alliance Community, and on Twitter.


*Jack Armstrong, two-time Warhammer Master and the current UK #1, is missing the Masters this year.

The UK Age of Sigmar Rankings

The UK Age of Sigmar Rankings operate from December to December each year.

Points are awarded to players based on (1) their final placing at Age of Sigmar events in the UK and (2) the number of players at those events (i.e. points awarded are a sliding scale, with bigger events worth more points, recognising the depth of competition).

Each player’s standing in the ranking is based on the total of their 4 highest-scoring events. For reference, the 2018 Masters attendees averaged 7.3 events each in this season.

The previous winners of the UK Age of Sigmar Masters are Russ Veal (with Tomb Kings for 2016) and Jack Armstrong (with Vanguard Wing Stormcast for 2017).

You can find the UK Age of Sigmar rankings here.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters Players

On 8 December 2018, invites were sent to the top 15 players in the UK Age of Sigmar Rankings and the current champion, Jack Armstrong. Depending on responses, additional invites were then issued to the following players based on their final rankings. A further 4 players were offered reserve spots and asked to submit army lists.

The current UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018 attendees are:

Below you’ll find player profiles for each of the players, plus the lists they are bringing to the event. I’ve also created a Twitter list of all the players if you want to follow along some of the coverage from home.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters Rules

The key points of the UK Age of Sigmar Masters pack are:

  • six games
  • realm rules are in play:
    • all games are in the Realm of Aqshy (Fire)
    • all wizards know the Fireball spell and the Firestarter command ability from the Core Book
    • the realmscape features and realm spells have been pre-selected for each of the battleplans (see below)
  • the Games Workshop Hidden Agendas
  • terrain warscrolls will be used for any Games Workshop terrain on the tables.

You can download the full pack here.

UK AoS Masters battleplans

  • Relocation Orb
    • Geysers of Boiling Blood
    • Spell: Stoke Rage
  • Star Strike
    • Burning Skies
    • Spell: Incandescent Form
  • Better Part of Valour
    • Every Step a League
    • Spell: Parch
  • Total Commitment
    • Clouds of Smoke and Steam
    • Spell: Infernal Blades
  • Places of Arcane Power
    • Flaming Missiles
    • Spell: Fiery Blast
  • Focal Points
    • Scorched Landscape
    • Spell: Glare of Vulcatrix

UK AoS Masters Scoring system

The UK Age of Sigmar Masters has a combination of gaming and “soft” scores to determine the winner.

  • Gaming scores
    • Major Win – 30
    • Minor Win – 25
    • Draw – 15
    • Minor Loss – 5
    • Major Loss – 0
  • Lists on time – 30
  • Sports – 300
    • 5 points per turn completed at the event
    • 25 points per game for gentlemanly conduct. Issued or removed at TO’s discretion (i.e. not player scored)
  • Painting – 60 points
    • fully painted, based on rounds or ovals and cohesive.

Masters players are expected to get full scores in painting and sports.

The UK Age of Sigmar Master 2018 will be the person with the most points overall.

Ties will be separated as follows:

  • Head to Head
  • Hidden Agendas Scored
  • Soft Scores
  • Total Units killed

The awards are:

  • The Master
  • Second Overall
  • Third Overall
  • Most Sporting
  • Best Painted

UK Age of Sigmar Masters Lists

The UK Age of Sigmar Masters Pack has brought a real interesting mix of army lists to the event. In a tournament year dominated by Daughters of Khaine and Legion of Sacrament, neither appear in the Masters field. You can find a full set of the army lists here.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Benjamin Savva – Nighthaunt

Benjamin Savva, #sohotrightnow, Games Workshop Age of Sigmar Grand Tournament Champion and proud member of the South London Legion. Second in the rankings and Best in Race: Daughters of Khaine, Benjamin has been playing a mixture of Bonesplitterz and Daughters of Khaine this year, but has switched it up with a Nighthaunt list for the Masters. Check out Benjamin’s Masterclass podcast for the site on Daughters of Khaine.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Dan Ford – Legion of Night

Dan Ford, Master of Murderhost and Dabbler with Maggotkin, had another strong tournament season in 2018 with a third place finish and Best in Race: Khorne. Strong results at the Bravery One British Open, the London GT and GW Heat 3 set him up for the Masters.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Craig Namvar – Stormcast Eternals

Craig Namvar, 4th in the rankings, had qualifying results from 4 different armies (Stormcast Eternals, Disciples of Tzeentch, Chaos and Khorne) showing just how well-rounded a player he is. Big results at Blood Tithe (team), South Coast GT, London GT and Blood and Glory qualified him for Masters.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Darren Watson – Seraphon

Darren! Darren! Darren! everyone’s favourite member of the Bruces,
UK AoS tournament dancing champion, ferocious list-writer, owner of the world’s best postal-themed army, and all-round nice guy. Darren had a great 2018 season, finishing 6th in the rankings running mainly Chaos (Blades of Khorne, Nurgle, Maggotkin of Nurgle etc), and earning himself a debut place in the Team England ETC team. If you are interested in more from Darren, you can check out his AoS 1 Archaon Masterclass he wrote for the site.  Over 4,000 words of list-tech goodness.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Gary Percival – Stormcast Eternals

Gary had another strong tournament year in 2018 finishing 7th with a mixture of order armies and Best in Race: Deepkin. Gary has been pushing around the Sequitor Surecharge lists lately with great success at both Crimbobo (his first overall title) and the Games Workshop Grand Tournament Final. Gary gave a Masterclass show back in AoS 1 that, while focussed on Kharadron Overlords, also gave his overall thoughts on improving as a tournament player.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Dan Bradshaw – Beasts of Chaos

Dan Bradshaw, camera guru extraordinaire and hirsute master of social media. Dan’s an excellent hobbyist as well as player and took a variety of lists in the 2018 season, finishing 8th (Idoneth Deepkin, Disciples of Tzeentch, Order and Flesh Eater Courts).

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Will Barton – Stormcast Eternals

To be honest, I don’t know much about Will (sorry, Will). Will holds the Best in Race: Stormcast Eternals icon for 2018 with solid results at BLACKOUT, BOBO, Blood Tithe and the Sheffield Slaughter. Will switched to Deepkin for an all important qualifying result at Blood and Glory.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Terry Pike – Maggotkin of Nurgle

Terry Pike, amazing White Dwarf featured painter, Facehammer podcast member, a fan of a pink tentacle or two and Best in Race: Maggotkin of Nurgle. Seriously, check out Terry’s Instagram. Terry qualified with great results at the Games Workshop Grand Tournament (Heat 1, Heat 2 and Final) as well as the Element Games Grand Slam.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Russ Veal – Legion of Blood

Russ Veal, past Age of Sigmar Master, Team England ETC member, Facehammer podcaster, official AoS playtester and simply “the Face”. Russ took Best in Race honours for both Legion of Sacrament and Nighthaunt in 2018 (one of the few attendees to hold dual-race honours).

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Laurie Hugget-Wilde – Sylvaneth

Laurie Hugget-Wilde, self-styled most sporting and narrative man in the UK. Laurie attended 9 events this season and qualified for Masters with a mixture of results from Daughters of Khaine and Sylvaneth (holding the Best in Race icon for the Trees). He has bravely kept up the defence of the Sylvaneth with consistently losing a game most tournaments. Laurie qualified via Blood and Glory, Facehammer GT, Heat 3 and the London GT and earned a spot on the Team England 6 Nations team for 2019.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Byron Orde – Order

Byron is the face of Element Games, a pro-painter, lover of grey, and has shocked the world with fantastic results from seemingly a bundle of Order models just picked off a shelf.  Byron took 1st at the Games Workshop GT final in 2017 and has only built from there with consistent GT performances, earning himself a Team England ETC spot.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Steve Curtis – Legion of Blood

Steve Curtis, another great painter in the ranks, took home Best in Race Legions of Nagash and Grand Host of Nagash after the 2018 season. His best results were from GW Heat 3, the Dorset Doggers Invitational, GT Final and Crimbobo.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Andy Hughes – Fyreslayers

Andy qualified for the UK Masters with a combination of Fyreslayers, Sylvaneth and Legion of Azgorh (holding the Best in Race title for the Legion). Andy is probably most well known for his Fyreslayers run under General’s Handbook 2017 and he has returned to the army for the UK Masters.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Ritchie McAlley – Sylvaneth

Ritchie McAlley has had an impressive first year on the UK Age of Sigmar tournament scene. Member of JustPlay Games and a host of the JustSaying podcast, Ritchie attended 12 events (the joint equal most of any attendee, shared with Mike Wilson). He and Laurie love to debate who came with the latest Sylvaneth list idea first.

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Ian Spink – Bonesplitterz

Ian Spink, undeniable master of Bonesplitterz, impressively committed to hunting down big monsters with an army many have forgotten about. Ian qualified through the GW Heat 1, Facehammer GT, GT Final and Blood and Glory.

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Michael Wilson – Host of Slaanesh

Last but not least, we have Tzeentch Mike Wilson – funnily enough who has been running Slaanesh all year. Slaanesh have been an interesting sleeper choice since they picked up allegiance abilities via the General’s Handbook and Mike will be well-placed for when the Battletome drops. He attended 12 events this year, with his strongest run a purple patch in the halcyon days of summer (Dorset Doggers, BLACKOUT and EGGS).

[Bad Dice Player Spotlight Coming]

UK Age of Sigmar Masters 2018

Gloomspite Gitz Battletome Review (Part 1)

Hey all, I’ve been sent an advance copy of Battletome: Gloomspite Gitz and want to give you an AoS Shorts-style review of the new release. This Gloomspite Gitz review will be in parts – each focusing on different aspects of the new battletome over the coming days.

This review introduces the Gloomspite Gitz and covers the top 10 things you need to know. Subsequent parts will provide a warscroll by warscroll review, slice apart the allegiance abilities, assess battalions, and cover the lore and background. As I write them, I’ll link them here.

For all the preview information we have seen so far from Games Workshop and other sources, check out my all-in-one page.

Gloomspite Gitz

In addition to these written previews, I’m going to be recording a show with Donal Taylor, (@WargamerDonal) the UK’s most infamous grot expert, in the next week or so to dive into the matched play aspects further.

Loonking Donal

I also want to do a follow-up post in a month after the FAQ. This gives us all time to digest the book.

And just before we dive into it, the site is now partnered with Dark Fantastic Mills. DFM produces amazing 3D printed terrain and you can use the code “AoS Shorts” to get a further 10% off and support the site.  The terrain is super light so shipping worldwide is surprisingly cheap. Check out the Doomcap Deeps range for things suitable mushroom-inspired and DFM have special offers on now.

Gloomspite Gitz

My approach to reviews

As this is my first preview review, I want to explain how I:

  • intend to approach these reviews and
  • hope to add value to the existing blog, podcast and YouTube options for preview reviews out there.

Short and useful is always my aim. Covering just what you need to know about the Gloomspite Gitz (whether you are a narrative or matched play gamer).

Some provisos

I won’t be making grand definitive calls about the likely matched play effectiveness of the army in this review. As we see with most releases the competitive matched play lists can offer differ significantly once players have had time to consider the book, any FAQs or errata. Nor will I be making recommendations about purchases. Its not my place to tell you what is cool or how to spend your hobby dollars.

Who are the Gloomspite Gitz?

The Gloomspite Gitz are the combined forces of the Moonclan (Night Goblins), Spiderfang (Goblin Spider Riders) and Troggoths (Trolls), with the odd Gargant (Giant) shambling along for the ride. This army embodies the random, comical, spiteful malevolence that we all come to expect from the Moonclan and their fellow subterranean dwellers.

The Gloomspite Gitz share a worship of the Bad Moon and are united under Skragrott the Loonking. The Bad Moon is a portent for lunacy and predicting its appearance is of crucial importance to the Gloomspite Gitz. The Bad Moon is at the centre of the Gloomspite Gitz’ allegiance ability.

Gloomspite Gitz Lore

I’ll have a full lore and background review in the coming days, but in the mean time, you could read my notes on the Warhammer TV Gloomspite Gitz lore video.

Gloomspite Gitz Review: Essentials

Here is what I think are the ten key points from Battletome: Gloomspite Gitz:

  • Availability of army builds
  • Several different playstyles
  • Moonclan ascendant
  • Spiderfang re-energised
  • Troggoths – strong models, new rules, some question marks?
  • the Bad Moon – worth building around?
  • Loonshrine – a massive rock
  • Fungoid Cave-Shaman – a different role, still useful
  • Gloomspite magic is strong but different
  • New Fanatics, not quite like your old fanatics

Available army builds

As with all recent Warhammer Age of Sigmar battletomes, Games Workshop aims to have a variety of available army builds within the same faction.

The Gloomspite Gitz are no different. You can make a Moonclan army, a Squig-based army, a Spiderfang army, a Troggoth or a mixture of the lot. Depending on your general, you can unlock additional battleline units:

  • Any general: Shootas and Stabbas are battleline
  • Dankhold Troggboss unlocks Rockguts and Fellwater Troggoths as battleline
  • Spiderfang keyword general unlocks Spider Riders
  • A general on Giant Cave Squig or Mangler Squig unlocks Squig Hoppers
  • A Moonclan general unlocks Squig Herd

Whether each of these builds is actually viable, we will see, and I’ll touch on in later reviews this week.

Gloomspite Gitz can have “one-drop” army builds, with Squigalanche likely to be the strongest of the “one-drop” option from a competitive matched play standpoint.


Playstyle options

Games Workshop also try to offer a variety of playstyles in each army (regardless of whether they are all viable from a competitive matched play perspective).

My initial impression is that the Gloomspite Gitz could run:

  • horde builds with lots of grots recycling through the Loonshrine
  • an “alpha bunker” list (a large unit thrown rapidly into the enemy’s lines to slow its advance while your other pieces move into position and claim objectives)
  • combat heavy squig or troggoth lists
  • a fast mortal wound spider swarm list
  • magic heavy list

I’ll touch on these in more detail in our parts of the preview series. Available playstyles – horde / alpha bunker / combat speed heavy squigs / mortal wound swarm / casting heavy

Moonclan ascendant

The Moonclan look like early beneficiaries in the new book, especially the squig-based units.

  • The Loonboss on Mangler Squig gives you a powerful, fast hero unit for 300 points. At that points cost you could take two. Plus add the Fight Another Day command trait to be able to charge and retreat as well and the Squig Lure spell to run and charge.
  • The Boingrot Bounderz are cheap, damage dealers offering a combination of mortal wounds, speed and numerous normal attacks. For instance, 15 do 7.5 mortal wounds on the charge, then have 60 attacks which would do 20 wounds on average at -1 rend (or 90 attacks and 30 wounds if they are buffed by the Sneaky Snufflers.
  • Moonclan units benefit with recycling Stabba units through the Loonshrine and the synergies from Snufflers and the Sporesplatta Fanatics.
  • Unfortunately, Shootas still are just going to give you a large volume attacks without much end result. You can buff their hit rolls, but not their wound rolls or rend (like Sneaky Stabbin did). So I don’t suspect we will see large hordes of them on the table.
  • Moonclan also get the greatest benefits from some of the battalions as the Squig Rider Stampede and the Squigalanche and artefacts such as the Squig Lure.
Gloomspite Gitz

Spiderfang re-energised

Spiderfang were one of the micro-factions of Warhammer Age of Sigmar with only 4 units. They have now been fleshed out into a fully fledged force with the full benefits of a modern battletome.

The Spiderfang have far more options, have a higher base movement now (10″), and even stronger mortal wound output (especially under the Light of the Bad Moon, which doubles their mortal wound output by activating them on 5s and 6s). The Scuttleboss combined with the Black Fang artefact and the Spiderfang spell which doubles mortal wounds from spider venom mean you could have a hero doing up to 44 mortal wounds in one combat. I suspect that the interplay of some of these artefacts/spells may be part of the Gloomspite Gitz FAQ in two weeks after the release.

The Spiderfang spell lore also has a number of great options while the Webspinner Shaman on Arachnarok gives you bonuses to cast. I can see people having fun with a mixed mortal wound and heavy spell spider-based army complimented with Scrapskuttle’s Arachnacauldron (to further boost casting) and large Stabba units to hold objectives and zone board space.

The only issue with taking a pure Spiderfang army is that you are foregoing the ability to control the path of the Bad Moon through having Skragrott the Loonking as your general. And as mentioned, the Bad Moon has some real strong benefits for Spiderfang.

Gloomspite Gitz

Troggoths – strong models, new rules, some questions?

There has been a lot of coverage in the previews so far about the ability to build a full Troggoth army, led by its new hero the Dankhold Troggboss. The army can revolve around the Troggherd battalion with a Troggboss, units of Rockgut or Fellwater Troggoths for battleline, some Dankhold Troggoths and the odd Gargant if you wanted.

The Troggboss is a great model, but at 300 points is probably only going to be taken by people wanting to field a full or heavy Troggoth list.

The Fellwater Troggoths have received a strong offensive boost for their shooting and melee weapons. However, the healing is not as strong as it once was.

Gloomspite Gitz Lore

The Bad Moon – worth building around?

The Gloomspite Gitz battle trait is the Bad Moon Rises. As I’ve covered elsewhere, you pick a corner of the board at the start of the game for the Bad Moon to be located. From the start of the second battleround, the Bad Moon will move at a random speed in a diagonal line across the board. The Moon may stay still, move slow or move fast, and has beneficial and negative effects on units in the board quarter it occupies. If it is in the middle of the table, those effects apply to the entire board.

The effects are:

  • Enemy Units anywhere on the board are bombarded with meteors from the Bad Moon, and take damage.
  • Gloomspite Gitz Wizards under the Bad Moon get +1 to their casting rolls, while all other wizards get -1
  • Gloomspite Gitz Generals get an additional command point in each hero phase they’re under the Bad Moon.
  • Squigs under the Bad Moon can run and charge in the same turn.
  • Moonclan Grot units re-roll hit rolls of 1.
  • Spiderfang Grot units deal mortal wounds on a 5+ to hit, rather than a 6+.
  • Troggoths can re-roll the dice to see if they regenerate wounds, or double the results of their first roll.

Now, the question for Gloomspite Gitz players is whether it worth building a list around manipulating the Bad Moon in order to maximise its impact, or if the effects will just be a pleasant bonus if they occur when needed. The effects are strong (especially if in the centre of the board), but the timing is unreliable (it could skip the centre of the board entirely), and you may have to heavily commit your army to one quarter of the board (which could be disadvantageous depending on the scenario).

If you do want to manipulate the moon in order to reap its benefits (for a devastating squig or spider charge), Skragrott the Loonking will be your general. Once per battle, Skragrott can choose for the Bad Moon to either not move that battleround, or to make 1 move, or 2 moves that battleround.

Gloomspite Gitz

The Loonshrine – a massive rock

With each new army for Warhammer Age of Sigmar we now get a faction specific terrain piece which is deployed at the start of the battle without a points cost – think Sylvaneth Wyldwoods, Deepkin boats, Maggotkin of Nurgle trees and Beasts of Chaos herdstones. For Gloomspite Gitz, it is the Loonshrine.

The Loonshrine model is truly massive. It is about 12″ tall and 6 to 8 inches wide, meaning it is perfect for line of site blocking for your heroes or your Squig Gobba artillery (which don’t need line of site to fire). The Loonshrine is set up wholly within your territory, more than 12″ from enemy territory and more than 1″ away from other terrain.

The Loonshrine does two things in addition to just being a big chunk of rock:

  • Gloomspite Gitz units wholly within 12″ do not take battleshock tests – useful for your bunker units and to save command points for other things (such as re-roll charges). Its large size really helps create an effective 30″ bubble of battleshock protection that will be very useful in scenarios such as Take and Hold.
  • at the end of your turns, and on a 4+, you can return half of a destroyed Stabbas or Shootas unit to the battlefield for free (so 30 models of a 60 model unit etc). You can only do this once for each destroyed unit (it isn’t endlessly recycling grots) and the unit must be set up wholly within 12″ of the Loonshrine and more than 3″ away from enemy units.

The Fungoid Cave-Shaman – a different role, still useful

The Fungoid Cave-Shaman is an amazing model and saw lots of use in Mixed Destruction armies before the release of the Gloomspite Gitz battletome. Its previous command ability allowed one friendly Grot or Orruk unit wholly within 18″ to charge at the start of the following charge phase (even if that unit had ran or retreated). This gave the army great movement for its hammer units.

Now the Fungoid Cave-Shaman does not have a command ability, but generates a command point on a 4+ at the start of your hero phase each battleround. While the loss of movement hurts the army (slightly offset by the Hand of Gork spell and some of the artefacts for squigs), the extra command points are a nice touch for an army that has historically needed them to be effective. The interesting thing to keep an eye on is whether the army is as command point hungry in the future now that it has the Loonshrine to rely on for battleshock immunity.

I suspect we will see a lot of Fungoid Cave-Shamans in Gloomspite Gitz lists given the model’s use as a multi-spell caster and command point factory.

Gloomspite magic: strong but different

Gloomspite Gitz have several strong magic options, with lots of different casters and spell options. Moonclan used to have easy access to boosting casting through eating mushrooms, however those options have now been changed.

Your options for a powerful magic army now revolve around:

  • the Loonking (casts and unbinds twice each turn, +1 to cast and unbind)
  • Webspinner Shaman on Aracknarok (+1 to cast and unbind for friendly Spiderfang wizards nearby)
  • Fungoid Cave-Shaman (casts twice once per game)
  • Zarbag (+2 to cast)
  • the Arachnacauldron (+1 to cast and unbind, and the caster knows all the Lore of the Moonclans spells)
Gloomspite Gitz

New fanatics, not quite like your old fanatics

There have been significant changes to Fanatics with the Gloomspite Gitz battletome. Previously, Moonclan Fanatics were set up in hiding and at the start of any charge phase (including your opponent’s) they could be released and set up within 1″ of the unit hiding them. The Fanatics could then charge immediately, acting as powerful blocking units for holding up important charges by your opponent. Now the Fanatics can be released but can’t charge in your opponent’s charge phase.

However, we now have a whole new unit variant called Sporesplatta Fanatics. At 120 points for five models, this unit has a number of cool features, including:

  • blocking line of sight to your models behind them – allowing you to protect vulnerable heroes (whether ones with low wounds or whose effectiveness decreases with wounds taken). Your opponent can still shoot the Sporesplatta unit, but will have to waste shots or magic clearing them first before your more important units
  • giving Moonclan Grots units wholly within 12″ +1 attack to melee weapons

I can definitely see Sporesplattas used behind Stabbas and in front of a set of support heroes.

Gloomspite Gitz

More Gloomspite Gitz Reviews

With each Warhammer Age of Sigmar battletome release there is a lot to talk about and the Gloomspite Gitz are a bumper crop given the large number of new units being released and the size of the battletome.

Over the next week or so, I’ll complete the subsequent parts of my Gloomspite Gitz review, including:

  • Allegiance abilities, spells and artefacts
  • Warscroll by warscroll review
  • Moonclan focus
  • Spiderfang focus
  • Troggoth focus
  • Lore and background

In the mean time, let me know what you think of the new releases and the warscrolls we have seen so far. You can contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Gloomspite Gitz

Gloomspite Gitz with Ben Johnson – Twitch summary

Today on Warhammer TV, Ben Johnson (Product Developer for the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Studio at Games Workshop) went into the development process of the Gloomspite Gitz and shared some tips and tidbits. I made some notes of the various points below and you can check out the full interview if you are a subscriber. For all the coverage on the Gloomspite Gitz in one place, check out my “all-in-one” page with all the coverage, previews and more from Warhammer Community, Facebook and the independent scene etc.

Gloomspite Gitz

Gloomspite Gitz Development

  • Gloomspite Gitz started with the Skragrott the Loonking model.
  • Andy Clark took the lead on the battletome.
  • The product development team took the opportunity to fold a number of smaller factions into AoS rule love – with battalions and allegiance abilities etc.  The three factions included all fit similar lore, all around caves.
  • Humourous but also spiteful and nasty.  Just like in the old world.

Gloomspite Gitz Units

  • All the kits have been shown but all the variants have not been yet.
  • All the Moonclan, Spiderfang and Troggoth units are moving into the new book.
  • Forgeworld aren’t in book but have had keywords updated for keywords – Hag, Colossal Squig, Squig Gobba and Bonegrinder Gargantuas.
  • Scuttlings aren’t in the book (no longer available for sale)
  • Loonboss with giant cave squig (the Skarsnik model) is in the book.
  • Mollog’s warband and Zarbag’s Gitz are both in the battletome.
  • Mollog is a type of Dankhold Troggoth and just lives in a smaller cave

Gloomspite Gitz Allegiance Abilities

  • Allegiance abilities like Beasts of Chaos and Legions of Nagash – Spiderfang units benefit from the Moonclan allegiance abilities etc – so you aren’t silo-ed into particular types.
  • Can run a full squig army led by a squig-mounted Grot Warboss

Gloomspite Gitz New Warscrolls

  • Skragott – wizard and warrior – trading off his reputation of having predicted the Bad Moon once (or just got lucky).
  • Rockgut Troggoths – the mix of comedy and spite, funny but horrible, can be seen between the feeding the bird and also the dead grot which was tied (alive) as a loin cloth around the waist of a Troggoth.
  • The Dankhold Troggoths live in underground cave – the bigger the cave, the bigger they grow.  Sleep for several years, during which time everything grows on them.
  • Loonboss – moon face and boss-fungus.  Believe that squigs won’t attack them if they are wearing the shape of the bad moon. Key hitty piece.
  • Sneaky Snufflers – first into the battlefield to collect the fungus to feed to units nearby for beneficial effects. Spider cages on their backs.
  • Boingrut Bounders – slower but hit harder and more armour than squig hoppers.  Really interchangeable.
  • Squigs – one herder per five grots.
  • Gobbapalooza – five class shamans with own role to play in. Spiker is the scuttling one. Shroomancer is the one on the mushroom. Scaremonger – How do you scare a Moonclan grot? You wear a sun mask.
  • Fanatics – Loonsmasha (operate a similar way).  New fanatics effects to be revealed soon on Warhammer Community.
  • Loonshrine – 12” tall.
  • Endless Spells – the final two named Endless Spells are the Malevolent Moon and Mork’s Mighty Mushroom.

The Light of the Bad Moon Allegiance Ability

  • Started with the idea of the Bad Moon as it is at the centre of all the races
  • Then thought about how the Bad Moon could be brought to the table in a thematic, skittish and erratic manner
  • Team wanted the balance of randomness for Moonclan, but also being easy to use and not mind-bendingly crazy
Gloomspite Gitz
  • Path of the Bad Moon – moon starts on one of the corners of the board and will move towards the centre of the board.  If it is in the centre of a board quadrant it effects just that quadrant. If it hits the middle of the table, it affects the whole table.
  • Each turn, roll a dice, it may move towards the opposite corner of the board.  Can move off the other side of the board.
  • Unclear if/how the movement is affected when there are two Gloomspite armies on the board.
  • The Bad Moon moves in one direction unless it is manipulated. Skragrott can manipulate the path of the Bad Moon –  move it or hold it place.
  • Rules on warscrolls, artefacts, spells all influenced by the position of the Bad Moon.  
  • Command traits and artefacts can also change the effects of the Bad Moon.
  • Timing important for maximising the benefits for your army. Where do you want to attack and when?  Do you want it helping you late game or early? Are you playing defensive or looking for strong combat in turns 2 or 3?

Warhammer Fest 2018

Right, so just a little bit of news has dropped lol.  A new edition, new magic, new double turn, changes to shooting mechanics, new starter set, Nighthaunt battletome and whole new models.  At the moment, I’ll pull together what I’ve found from the internet here.   This is about an hour’s worth of work collating material.  There is so much information out there, and the Warhammer Community team have done a really good job of covering all the releases, so I highly recommend checking it out.

As we learn more and more coverage comes out about Age of Sigmar Second Edition, I’ll have a new section of the site up to collate all the coverage, news, rules and models details.

Age of Sigmar Second Edition

Age of Sigmar second edition coming in JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What do we know?

  • Stormcast v Nighthaunt starter set
  • Expanded hero phase – every hero can use, not just the general
  • No shooting out of combat
  • Addition of new command points system
  • Scenery dice and wound counters from GW
  • A more strategic double turn
  • If you have an army in Age of Sigmar now, you can play it in Age of Sigmar Second Edition.  Every unit will be in the new game.
  • Core rules and unit warscrolls still available to download for free.
  • All existing battletomes will work.
  • General’s Handbook 2018 will come out at the same time as Age of Sigmar Second Edition.

There is even a “Your Questions Answered” section.

Age of Sigmar narrative

The new edition book will have an expanded description of the Mortal Realms including maps, maps and maps!

New Stormcast – The Sacrosanct Chamber opens

Engineers, Wizards and Priests as new chambers open.


A whole wave of new Nighthaunt models and a battletome to boot. New Mortarch of Grief coming.

Malign Sorcery – Age of Sigmar

Magic now has a greater and more permanent effect on your games of Age of Sigmar.

New Age of Sigmar Scenery and Technical Paints

New scenery, objective markers and technical paints.

Also a licensed table! Look at that bling.

Forgeworld Khorne Dragon

The Forgeworld Khorne Dragon was on display at Warhammer Fest.  We have seen works in progress at events before, now you can see it finished and painted.

New Warhammer Community content

The Warhammer Community team is releasing an official Age of Sigmar podcast called “Stormcast”.

Hammerhal Herald – think the Regimental Standard but for Age of Sigmar.

And a new webcomic for Age of Sigmar.

More coverage

Check out all the coverage at: