Today I have the second part in Gloomspite Gitz Battletome Review, covering the allegiance abilities. Over the next few days, I am taking aspects of the book and giving my initial thoughts and comments. You can check out the first part, covering the top 10 things you need to know and my review approach, and the warscroll review page for more details.
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.
The Bad Moon Rises – Gloomspite Gitz Battle Trait
The Gloomspite Gitz Battle Trait revolves around the Bad Moon and is suitably thematic. As with many features of Moonclan armies of past ages, it is random, unreliable, and powerful.
Choosing where the Bad Moon rises
At the start of the first battle round, before determining who has first turn, the Gloomspite Gitz player picks a corner of the battlefield as the starting location of the Bad Moon. If both players are playing Gloomspite Gitz then the players roll-off to see who picks.
Over the course of the game, the Bad Moon will move from that corner, diagonally across the battlefield and even off the far corner of that table.
From the start of the second battle round, before determining who has first turn, the Gloomspite Gitz player must roll a dice to determine how the Bad Moon will move that battleround.
- on a 1, the Bad Moon does not move
- on a 2-5, it makes 1 move
- on a 6, it makes 2 moves
What’s a move? A move is from the starting point to the next point along the diagonal line. For example, 1 move would be from the corner to the centre of the closest quadrant of the board, 2 moves would be from the corner of the board to the centre. See the map below from the battletome.
Once the moon hits the opposite corner of the battlefield (i.e. after 4 moves), it is removed from the battlefield and has no further effect.
The Light of the Bad Moon
The location of the Bad Moon determines which models are affected by its light:
- if the Moon is in the corner, it has no effect
- if the Moon is in the centre of a quadrant (the moon shape above), then it affects models wholly within the same quarter of the battlefield
- if the Moon is in the centre of the battlefield then it affects all models on the battlefield.
The effects of the Bad Moon are (all of them apply at the same time):
- Fangz of the Bad Moon: at the start of your hero phase, pick one enemy. Roll a dice. If the roll is equal to or less than the number of models in that unit affected by the light, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.
- NB: a unit with 6 or more models in the area affected by the light will be guaranteed to take D3 mortal wounds.
- Bad Moon Magic: GLOOMSPITE GITZ WIZARDS add 1 to casting rolls. WIZARDS that don’t have the GLOOMSPITE GITZ keywords subtract 1 from casting rolls.
- NB: this effect doesn’t apply to unbinding rolls, but is a useful benefit given that Moonclan shaman no longer have access to the same +2 to cast mechanic that they once did.
- GLOOMSPITE GITZ WIZARDS are:
- Skragrott, the Loonking (already +1 to cast and able to cast two spells a turn)
- Fungoid Cave-Shaman (able to cast two spells once a game)
- Zarbag (once per game, can roll a dice and on a 2+ can cast with +2 to cast)
- Madcap Shaman (once per battle can attempt to cast one additional spell, but if the casting roll is a double the shaman suffers D3 mortal wounds)
- Webspinner Shaman on Arachnarok Spider (a two spell caster which projects a +1 to cast bubble already for SPIDERFANG WIZARDS)
- Webspinner Shaman
- Loonatic Inspiration: If you have a GLOOMSPITE GITZ general, and that general is affected by the Bad Moon at the start of your hero phase, you get 1 extra command point.
- Lunar Squigs: If all of the models in a friendly SQUIG unit are affected by the Bad Moon at the start of your charge phase, that unit can attempt a charge, even if it ran in the same turn.
- Highly useful given the random movement of a Loonboss on Mangler Squig, Colossal Squig, Mangler Squigs, your Squig Hoppers and your Boingrot Bounders. It works well with the Squig Rider Stampede battalion benefit of re-rolling the random move distance for units in the battalion.
- Note the Loonboss with Great Cave Squig and the Sneaky Snufflers don’t have the SQUIG keyword so won’t be affected
- Moonclan Fungus Brew: you can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made by MOONCLAN GROT models which they are affected by the light of the Bad Moon.
- useful for maximising the weight of attacks from your large MOONCLAN GROT units (Stabbas mainly).
- Note the Loonsmasha and Sporesplatta Fanatics, the Squig Hoppers, Boingrot Bounderz don’t have the GROT keyword so will not benefit.
- Spiderfang Venom: while SPIDERFANG models are affected by the light, their Spider Venom ability causes mortal wounds on an unmodified hit roll of a 5+ instead of 6+.
- Doubling the mortal wound output of a highly mobile unit which can position itself to benefit from the Moon’s position is great. Watch out for the effect of this combined with the Monstrous Mount command trait and spells on the Scuttleboss.
- Troggoth Renewal: If all the models in a friendly TROGGOTH unit are affected by the Moon when it uses its Regeneration ability (i.e. in the hero phase), you can re-roll the dice that determines if the ability heals any wounds, or you can double the number of wounds healed (if the first roll was successful).
My personal preferences for combining with other abilities and building a list around are the casting bonus, the squig movement and the spider mortal wound output. However, almost all of them offer substantial benefits.
The benefits of the Bad Moon also affect some of the Gloomspite Gitz artefacts, spells and battalions, for example:
- Loon-touched (for MOONCLAN WIZARDS): +2 to casting rolls if this general is affected by the light of the Bad Moon, rather than +1.
- Loonskin (for DANKHOLD TROGGOTH HEROs): This general counts as being affected by the light of the Bad Moon regardless of where the Bad Moon is on the board (it no longer has any effect once the Bad Moon has left the board).
- Call da Moon (spell for MOONCLAN WIZARDS): the Bad Moon allows you to re-roll the D3 that determines the number of mortal wounds.
- Moonclan Skrap battalion: all the units in this battalion do not take battleshock tests while affected by the light of the Moon.
- Squigalanche battalion: if the light of the Moon affects a unit from this battalion at the start of the combat phase, that unit is eligible to fight in the combat phase if it is within 6″ of an enemy unit instead of 3″, and can move an extra 3″ when it piles in. (Amazing).
Making the most of the Bad Moon
The tactical challenge for Gloomspite Gitz generals is deciding where the Bad Moon should start. For me, the following factors are relevant to that decision:
- the scenario you are playing (Take and Hold, Meeting Engagement for example)
- how your army plays (are you defensive, offensive, or mixed arms?)
- the type of army you are facing (how fast is the opponent? are you likely to be fighting in your half of the board or theirs?)
- can you manipulate the roll for the Bad Moon’s movement? (i.e. do you have Skragrott, the Loonking in your list)
The randomness of the Moon makes it hard to predict and plan around (very true to theme there). The Moon could skip the centre of the battlefield (depriving you of its greatest impact) or stay there for a few turns.
Your only option is to try to manipulate the roll is to take Skragrott as your general and use his once per game command ability to determine whether the Bad Moon moves once, twice or not at all that turn.
Gloomspite Gitz Command Traits
The Gloomspite Gitz have access to four different sets of command traits depending on the identity of the general:
- LOONBOSS – Loonboss on Mangler Squigs, Loonboss, Loonboss with Great Cave Squig
- MOONCLAN WIZARD – Fungoid Cave-Shaman, Boggleye, Shroomancer, Madcap Shaman
- SCUTTLEBOSS – Scuttleboss on Gigantic Spider
- DANKHOLD TROGGOTH HERO – Dankhold Troggboss
Note the lack of command traits for Webspinner Shaman on Arachnaroks.
Each class of general has 6 command traits to choose from (and some abilities are shared between the tables).
Blessings of the Bad Moon (Loonboss)
Loonbosses can access 6 command traits. I suspect the most commonly taken will be:
- Fight Another Day: each time this general attacks with its melee weapons it can make a 2D6″ move after all of its attacks have been resolved (finishing that move more than 3″ away from enemy units).
- The ability to charge, first and then immediately disengage to avoid being hit back is amazing. Perfect for a Loonboss on Mangler Squigs given the damage output, its ability to fly (so can’t be trapped easily) and the need to protect the Loonboss from taking wounds in order to maintain its damage output.
- Tough ‘n’ Leathery: add 2 to the general’s Wounds characteristic.
- The Clammy Hand: If this general is within 12″ of a Loonshrine at the start of your hero phase, you can use the Moonclan Lair scenery rule twice in that hero phase.
- if you are planning on running a defensive grind list with large units of buffed Stabbas with spears that can dish out a lot of attacks, swamp objectives and be replenished as required.
- NB: I expect this will be erratad given that the Loonshrine warscroll says the effect happens at the end of your turn, rather than in the hero phase.
Gifts of The Gloomspite (Moonclan Wizards)
Moonclan Wizards can also access six command traits. The most likely to be seen are:
- Great Shaman: The general knows 1 extra spell from the Lore of the Moonclans
- This would be most useful on a Fungoid Cave-Shaman given he is the only non-named Moonclan Wizard that can cast two spells in a turn
- Boss Shaman: This general has the “I’m Da Boss, Now Stab ‘Em Good! command ability from the Loonboss. That ability is activated at the start of the combat phase by you picking 1 of your MOONCLAN GROT units (likely Stabbas) wholly within 24” of your general. If the unmodified wound roll for an attack made by that unit in that phase is 6, that attack inflicts 1 mortal wound on the target in addition to any normal damage.
- Useful in that it allows you to gain the benefits of two heroes in one hero (thus saving points for use elsewhere). However, again you would want to put it on the Fungoid Cave-Shaman in order to have the resilience of a 5+ or 6+ save followed by a 4+ ignore wound save.
- The Loonboss ability is great on high number of attacks units and causes mortal wounds in addition to normal damage (rather than simply replacing the normal damage from those attacks).
- Note you can’t spam this command ability by selecting the same unit to benefit more than once per phase (however, you could pick two different units in the same phase).
- Loon-touched: +2 to cast when affected by the Bad Moon (instead of +1 to cast).
Marks of the Spider God’s Favour (Scuttleboss)
There is one clear stand-out in the Scuttleboss table:
- Monstrous Mount: Double the number of mortal wounds that are inflicted by this general’s Spider Venom ability.
- The Spider Venom ability says that the model inflicts one mortal wound (and the attack sequence ends) for every unmodified hit roll of a 6. This applies to both the Scuttleboss and the Gigantic Spider (so 8 attacks total base). This can also be improved to a 5+ through the Totem of the Spider God artefact or the Light of the Bad Moon.
Other command traits available add 4″ to the general’s move, create a bravery debuff bubble, add 2 to the general’s Wounds characteristic, allow a free use of a command ability, deprive enemy units of cover when attacked by SPIDERFANG units near the general.
Fortuitous Troggboss Traits (Dankhold Troggboss)
Of the six command traits available to a Dankhold Troggboss, my picks would be:
- Pulverising Grip: When you use this general’s Crushing Grip ability you can re-roll the dice that determines if the target is slain.
- Crushing Grip is 1 attack, which does not use the usual attack sequence. Instead, pick 1 enemy model that is within 1″ of the Troggboss and roll a dice. If the roll is equal to or greater than the Wounds characteristic of that model, it is slain.
- A very useful ability for killing support heroes or picking out banner bearers and musicians in a unit.
- Mighty Blow: You can re-roll the dice that determines the Damage characteristic of this general’s Boulder Club (4 attacks D6 damage)
Gloomspite Gitz Artefacts
Just like with the command traits, the Gloomspite Gitz artefacts are divided up into categories determined by the identity of the bearer. There are artefacts available for:
- Madcap Shamans
- Spiderfang Heroes
- Dankhold Troggbosses
Troglodytic Treasures (Loonboss)
Loonbosses have access to 6 artefacts – my picks are:
- Loonstone Talisman: Roll a dice each time you allocate a mortal wound to the bearer. On a 5+ that mortal wound is ignored.
- The Clammy Cowl: Subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks that target the bearer.
However, realm artefacts are always likely to be favoured here – Gryphfeather Charm or the Ethereal Amulet would be better choices on a Loonboss on Mangler Squigs.
I’ve also discounted the Spiteful Prodder given the kinds of units which have the GROT keyword and the (low) likelihood that you would have a large number of them wholly within 12″ of the bearer.
Foetid Fetishes (Madcap Shamans)
Madcap Shamans can choose from 3 artefacts. My picks:
- Moonface Mommet: At the start of the combat phase, pick 1 enemy unit within 12″ of the bearer. Subtract 1 from save rolls for attacks that target that unit until the end of the phase.
- Staff of Sneaky Stealin: Add 1 to casting and unbinding rolls for the bearer for each enemy WIZARD within 12″ of the bearer. In addition, add 1 to casting and unbinding rolls for the bearer for each enemy HERO with an artefact of power within 12″ of the bearer.
Venomous Valuables (Spiderfang Hero)
The Spiderfang heroes get access to a decent set of 6 artefacts. They probably have the most well-rounded selection to choose from of the Gloomspite Gitz heros. My picks:
- Totem of the Spider God: While a friendly SPIDERFANG unit is wholly within 12″ of the bearer, its Spider Venom ability causes mortal wounds on an unmodified hit roll of 5+ instead of a 6.
- enjoy twice the mortal wounds without the risk of the Bad Moon being in the wrong place
- Headdress of Many Eyes: Subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks that target the bearer.
- The Black Fang: Pick one of the bearer’s melee weapons. If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made with that weapon is 6, that attack inflicts D3 mortal wounds on the target and the attack sequence ends. If the weapon already inflicts mortal wounds on a roll of a 6, add D3 to the number of mortal wounds it inflicts instead.
- The standout artefact and part of the combo allowing a Scuttleboss to do a ridiculous amount of mortal wound damage.
Glinty Gubbinz that Troggoths Found (Dankhold Troggboss)
Dankhold Troggbosses can access one of three artefacts.
The Glowy Howzit is the standout. Roll a dice each time you allocate a wound or mortal wound to the bearer. On a 4+ that wound is negated. On a 1, the bearer eats the Glowy Howzit and it cannot be used again for the rest of the battle.
Gloomspite Gitz Spell Lores
The Gloomspite Gitz have two spell lores:
- the Lore of the Moonclans for Moonclan Wizards (surprise)
- the Lore of the Spiderfangs for Spiderfang Wizards (funnily enough)
Both sets give plenty of viable and strong options that can be cast reasonably reliably with all the bonuses to cast available to Gloomspite Gitz wizards.
Lore of the Moonclans
6 spells available to Moonclan Wizards, with a few great throwbacks to Moonclan history.
- Itchy Nuisance (6): if successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. That unit fights at the end of the next combat phase, after the players have picked any other units to fight in the combat phase.
- An excellent offensive and defensive spell – you can turn off your opponent’s main combat threat, select an enemy unit that decreases in effectiveness once its taken wounds, or protect a vulnerable and important unit of yours by ensuring it can attack first (and at least go down swinging if necessary)
- The Great Green Spite (7): pick 1 friendly GLOOMSPITE GITZ unit wholly within 18″ of the caster and an enemy unit within 24″ of the caster and visible to them. The enemy unit suffers 1 mortal wound if the firendly unit has fewer than 10 models, D3 mortal wounds if the firendly unit has 10 to 20 models, and D6 mortal wounds if it has more than 20 models.
- The Hand of Gork (7): pick 1 friendly GLOOMSPITE GITZ unit wholly within 24″ of the caster, visible to them and more than 3″ from any enemy units. Remove that unit from the battlefield and set it up again anywhere on the battlefield more than 9″ from any enemy units. It may not move in the subsequent movement phase.
- Squig Lure (5): pick up to D3 friendly SQUIG units wholly within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Those units can run and still charge later in the same turn.
Lore of the Spiderfangs
Another strong set of six spells and still useful in a mixed Gloomspite Gitz army (given how the keywords work on the spells):
- Scuttling Terrors (7): pick 1 friendly SPIDERFANG units wholly within 24″ of the caster. That unit can run and still shoot and/or charge later in the same turn.
- Sneaky Distraction (7): until your next hero phase subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks made by enemy units while they are wholly within 12″ of the caster.
- Massive bubbles around the Webspinner Shaman on Arachnarok allowing several minuses to hit.
- Curse of da Spider God (7): pick 1 enemy unit within 24″ of the caster and visible to them. Until your next hero phase, hit rolls made for attacks by that unit always fail on an unmodified roll of 1 or 2 instead of only on a 1, and save rolls made for attacks that target that unit always fails on an unmodified roll of 1 or 2 instead of only on a 1.
- Gift of the Spider God (8): pick 1 friendly SPIDERFANG MONSTER within 12″ of the caster that is visible to them. You can heal D6 wounds allocated to that unit.
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:
- Warscroll by warscroll review
- Moonclan focus
- Spiderfang focus
- Troggoth focus
- Lore and background