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

  • 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

Ionarch

  • 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. 

Nautilar

  • 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)

Mor’Phann

  • 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.   

Fuethan 

  • 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. 

Dhom-Hain

  • 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. 

Briomdar

  • 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). 

Allies

  • 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. 

Warscrolls

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. 

Volturnos

  • 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

Points

UnitOldNewChange
Namarti Reavers1701700
Namarti Thralls1301300
Leviadon380500120
Aspect of the Sea3253250
Aspect of the Storm33035525
Volturnos26029030
Elthain’s Soulraid14521065
Akhelian King23025020
Thrallmaster1101100
Tidecaster10515045
Soulscryer14015010
Soulrender9012030
Lotann7511540
Allopex1651650
Bloodthirsty ShiverN/A495N/A
Morrsarr Guard1951950
Ishlaen Guard15519540

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