AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar

Warband Guide: The Splintered Fang

This The Splintered Fang warband guide is the fourth in a series of articles providing all the advice you need to make the most of your Warcry warbands. You can check out the rest of the Warcry warband guides here:

The Splintered Fang: One Cut, One Kill

Poisonous cultists who worship Chaos in the aspect of an ancient coiling serpent known as Nagendra. These denizens of the deep jungles in Ghyran view all snakes as sacred to some extent, and use the gifts of these “Coiling Ones” to enhance their lethality.

Splintered Fang cultists start their journey being thrown into a pit of snakes from which few emerge. Those that do however emerge with an enhanced resistance to toxins and murderous drive to bring honor to the Great Serpent.


  • The Bigger They Are…Splintered Fang warriors excel at combatting warbands who make use of durable units. Their cheapest ability lets them count as always having a higher strength than the enemy’s toughness.
  • Combat Flexibility – The Splintered Fang have a wider range of fighter options than the other warbands. This means their Roster Building is far more engaging than the other boxed warbands.
  • Exceptional Value – Chaff, Infantry, Threats, all of yours are cheaper than everyone else’s. Every unit in the Splintered Fang is costed very cheaply for what it does except the Leader.


  • Rabble of Reptiles – The warband straight out of the box is not good. Like the Iron Golems, you will NEED a Slaves to Darkness Double Box to contend with the other warbands.
  • Underwhelming Leader – Sadly the Trueblood just is not a very good leader, and she’s the only choice you have. Her Leader-specific ability is just a netting ability that prevents an enemy disengaging or moving. The Spire Tyrants get that on a Chaff model.
  • No Punch – The closest thing you have to an Elite Threat is the Serpent Caller combo. No single model in this warband has the “Threat Factor” of a First Fang, Blissful One or Luminate. 

Mustering your Splintered Fang Warband

Double Box, get the Double Box. These guys are NOT good straight out the basic box. Once you have those extra models this whole force opens up into a toolkit that can handle nearly any threat.

The Splintered Fang have a similar experience to the Age of Sigmar card-pack warbands. They heavily reward your ability to experiment and adapt your list. You have many options, but not all fit togther well.

Be sure to take the time to decide what your warband needs to compliment your playstyle. There are few playstyles that they CAN’T compliment when built right.

Painting your Splintered Fang

Splintered Fang are a blend of flesh, scale and steel. Of all the warbands, I found these the most enjoyable hobby-wise. Each detail is beautifully crafted; from the coiling snake motifs on their hilts to the miniature snake-heads serving as climbing spikes on their greaves. 

To learn to paint your Splintered Fang, I strongly reccommend the informative video of The MiniJunkie. Their video shows how to effectively paint the models quickly as well as smoothly. For my unconventional color scheme, I followed the guide below from The Painting Coach.

Splintered Fang Unit Breakdown

For the purposes of breaking down the units and categorizing them effectively, these reviews will list units as being one of the following:

  • Leader – A leader choice for the warband. A Warcry warband must include one of these, and cannot include more than one.
  • (Elite) Threat Unit – A higher-price unit that either dishes out heavy damage. Also comes in the Elite variety, which a warband will usually only be able to afford a single one.
  • Support Unit – A model whos use is tethered to an ability, usually a Triple, that boosts the effectiveness of themselves and those around them.
  • Infantry Unit – Middle of the road, these units are reasonably affordable in exchange for a baseline unit that can hold it’s own passably.
  • Chaff Unit – Cheap, spammable and here to either screen or hold objectives. Can usually be buffed, usually is not cost effective to do so

Trueblood (Leader) – 180pts

The Leaders of the Splintered Fang are so dedicated to the Coiling Ones that their own blood is indistinguishable from the poison they smear on their tridents. Even the strongest warrior can be felled by a stray droplet of a Trueblood’s ichor.

Only Leader choice for the warband. As I mentioned above, I’m not on Team Trueblood. The 2” range weapon and the ability to stop another enemy in their tracks has potential. Sadly the ability’s 3” range means that the enemy can play around it pretty easily.

With no combat steroid ability to push them over the top beyond the warband’s Quad (not really something you want to be relying on), the Trueblood is vulnerable to being taken out the moment it is focused.

Serpent Caller (Elite Support Unit) – 145pts

The most faithful of Nagendra become her oracles, true speakers of the Coiling One’s will. Bedecked in scaled finery and the serpents that flock to their poisonous presence, Serpent Callers are never without aid.

The Serpent Caller is a lot like the Beastspeaker of the Untamed Beasts, but much better for slightly more. My deepest wish is that this could be a Leader as well, but it can’t be EVERYTHING.

I favor a Serpent Caller in one of my two Splintered Fang rosters, namely the Serpent-Spam roster. Unlike the Rocktusk Prowler, you can afford to have multiple Serpent units in your army (in fact four of them isn’t that far-fetched). The Serpent Caller will ALWAYS have something to do each turn besides throwing darts at people.

Snake Charmer lets the Serpent Caller have a Serpents unit bonus fight out of turn in his activation. This effectively adds their damage output to his own, which is already formidable.

If you aren’t planning on spamming Serpents, leave this guy at home.

Serpents (Threat Unit) – 65pts

Chaos taints everything it touches, and the Serpents of the Splintered Fang are no exception. As devious as the cultists they accompany, one bite from the serpents can melt through flesh, bone and spirit.

A threat unit with less than 10 wounds? I know, it’s outrageous but hear me out. The Serpents are all in for Crits, they have a whopping 5 attacks at trash strength… but they Crit for 4 damage a piece.

They move a quick 6” and their low cost means losing one isn’t going to cost you the game. They’re able to make use of Poisoned Weapons and Paralysing Venom, enabling them to use their weight of attacks to destroy an enemy fighter worth 3 times their value.

You want 3-4 of these, within range of the Serpent Caller at all times for his Snake Charmer ability.

Pureblood (Elite Unit) – 125pts

Survivors of the “Serpent’s Kiss” ritual, these warriors have been tainted with the most potent toxins and emerged somehow stronger. They dedicate their strength to the mastery of bladecraft, blending deadly skill with deadlier poison.

The Pureblood is the “largest” among the Splintered Fang, a massive, lithe warrior. Regrettably this did not transfer through to his stats. He is no tougher than any other model in the warband. Unfortunately his combat ability by comparison is lackluster compared to the Venombloods.

His only selling point is his specific ability Relentless Killer. This lets him take a bonus attack… if he kills something. He is unlikely to kill something that isn’t already on it’s way to death. To make matters worse, he needs to be engaged by multiple foes to make it work.

He’s not particularly worth the effort or expenditure. If you can replace him with a Venomblood, do it.

Venomblood with Shield and Barbed Whip (Infantry Unit) – 110pts

The shields wielded by Venombloods fulfill a dual purpose. With their sharp edges smeared in venom, the line between defensive tool and weapon of murder blurs to nothing. Armed with a whip or spear, these fighters do not hesitate to apply poisons from the safety of distance.

Here we go, the Venombloods. These units in all their variations are the REAL combat threats compared to the Pureblood. This model can also be equipped with a Spear instead of a Whip which is my preference.

Packing in 5 toughness and the shield bash ability Fanged Buckler, which is a shield bash with more reliable damage, the durable Venomblood with Shield can handle most things thrown at them.

The 3” whip enables the Venomblood to fight at a greater distance. While nowhere near as killy as the Spear-armed variant, the whip is a good applicator of Paralysing Venom. Smear toxins across your lash and give the enemy a taste from behind the safety of a Chaff screen.

Venomblood with Shield and Spear (Threat Infantry Unit) – 135pts

Alternate Build for Venomblood with Shield and Barbed Whip

The sharply more expensive Venomblood with Shield variation trades the utility of a 3” range for raw killing power. While juicing on Poisoned Weapons or Paralysing Venom there really isn’t a lot this guy can’t kill from the safety of 2”, and he can even close in to smash his victim with a Fanged Buckler if they dare to step in to try to attack him.

A case could be made for this being the most useful model in the non-Snake Spam list, and you will want at least two to form the anvil to break the enemy on.

The only shortcoming here is the meager 10 wounds, do not let the enemy outnumber you or the plan will crumble

Venomblood with Dueling Blades (Threat Infantry Unit) – 85pts

Eschewing defense entirely for total dedication to the kill, some Venombloods forgo shields and go into combat armed with a weapon in each hand. Their speed is unmatched, and every cut is a killing blow.

Apparently the points cost was stashed in the shield, because without one these lads are CHEAP. With no shield to hide behind like a coward (or a skilled player, who can say), the Venomblood with Dueling Swords is here to slice the enemy to ribbons.

He has 1 extra attack over the spear-wielding variant, but at 1 less strength. This would normally be an issue if this warband didn’t have a double any unit can use that lets them strike above the enemy toughness no matter what.

With every one of his 4 attacks hitting on a 3+, and with the odd Crit mixed in, this guy will blend Elite Threat units while costing 50pts less than them. Another two-of in the infantry build, minimum.

Venomblood with Blade and Barbed Whip (Infantry Unit) – 85pts

Alternate Build for Venomblood with Dueling Blades

Costing the exact same amount of points as his alternate option, this model can be measured exactly against it to determine his purpose.

The whip is fine, but Poisoned Weapons shines wen used on weapons that have a base damage of 2 or better, and the whip lacks this.

The only application of this model is being able to apply Paralyzing Venom from a slightly safer distance, but it does fine at that for it’s points cost.

Clearblood with Paired Weapons (Chaff Unit) – 65pts

As-yet unproven members of the Splintered Fang, these fighters have been blooded in poison but not in battle. Serving as expendable applicators of the Coiling One’s gifts, their commanders know that one of these lowly creatures can fell an Ogor, should they cut them once.

As Chaff units go, not particularly remarkable. They have 2 more wounds than the usual 8 and they have 4 attacks instead of the usual 3, but the dead-average Crit damage and the fact using Poisoned Weapons on them is a monumental waste to supplement their Strength 3 means essentially, they’re roadblocking for the more valuable units.

Clearblood with Shield (Chaff Unit) – 70pts

Emulating the Venombloods, these warriors have dipped the spikes of their shields in lethal venom. An anvil as good as any to have the enemy break on, these warriors are usually the first thing enemies of the Splintered Fang whet their blades on.

A Clearblood with with half as many attacks but has a shield for an extra 5pts, absolute steal. There is never a reason to take Paired Weapons over this guy because the shield is so cheap and he has access to Fanged Buckler while using it.

If you’re looking for a Chaff model, you’re obviously going to want the one with a higher toughness value and an ability that lets him put out some damage.

This is the go-to… but you only get one in a box.

Splintered Fang Ability Breakdown

We will now take a closer look at the six abilities specific to the Splintered Fang.

Poisoned Weapon

Poisoned Weapon (Double) – Until the end of this fighter’s activation, the Strength characteristic of attack actions made by this fighter count as being higher than the target’s Toughness characteristic.

The ability that defines the Splintered Fang. On any weapon that does more than 2 damage, this is always going to be a worthwhile use.

Allowing a warband filled with Strength 3 models to punch through whatever toughness they want is fantastic, and against the more durable warbands like Iron Golems, any Stormcast variant or the infamous Mawtribes, you will be using this at least once per round, if not twice.

Do not waste it on 1 damage weapons like the Clearblood Paired Weapons or the Barbed Whips.

Ensnaring Net

Ensnaring Net (Double, Leader Only) – Pick a visible enemy fighter within 3″ of this fighter. Until the end of the battle round, that enemy fighter cannot make move actions or disengage actions.

Honestly not too bad, but compared to other Leader-specific abilities like Spine-Crushing Blow and Harrying Raven, which have utility AND can be used by other fighters if you choose to build that way, this is nothing special. The Spire Tyrants get this on a Chaff model.

You will almost always be using a different ability like Poisoned Weapons or Paralysing Venom, because this Leader can’t afford to end a turn with models near it alive.

Fanged Buckler

Fanged Buckler (Double, Models with Shield Only) – Pick a visible enemy fighter within 1″ of this fighter and roll a dice. On a 3-4, allocate l damage point to that fighter. On a 5-6, allocate a number of damage points to that fighter equal to the value of this ability.

I like this. The other “shield bash” attacks in this game tend to only do the big king-hit on a 6, but the Splintered Fang smeared poison on theirs (of course) so they get the damage twice as often.

It’s better on the Clearblood as it gives him something to do besides standing in a doorway waiting to die, but the lethal Venomblood with Spear comes with a Shield so he might as well use it when Paralysing Venom isn’t available.

Snake Charmer

Snake Charmer (Triple, Serpent Caller Only) – Pick a friendly fighter with the Beast runemark within 4″ of this fighter. That fighter makes a bonus attack action.

This is a carbon-copy of the Untamed Beasts’ Beastspeaker-specific ability, but it’s getting used on Serpents instead. Now it does specifies Beast, not Serpents. In a campaign game where you acquire an additional Beast this has that option, but that isn’t what makes it good.

The Snake-Spam list uses this ability to effectively grant the Serpent Caller a boost in damage output by having a Serpent near him chime in in his activation and supplement his attack.

It’s not bad, and the odd Double-Crit from the Serpent will make this pay for itself.

Relentless Killer

Relentless Killer (Triple, Pureblood Only) – A fighter can use this ability only if an enemy fighter has been taken down by an attack action made by them this activation. This fighter makes a bonus attack action.

Snore. As I outlined above, the Pureblood is unlikely to even manage to kill something without some extremely lucky Crits. Needing a situation where he can make use of a bonus attack without getting a move on top of that? No dice.

Use the Triple you would spend on this on literally anything besides this. Inspiring Presence from the generic abilities will always be a better ability than this.

Paralysing Venom

Paralysing Venom (Quad) – Until the end of this fighter’s activation, add the value of this ability to the damage points allocated by critical hits from attack actions made by this fighter, and after each attack action made by this fighter, roll a dice. On a 5-6, until the end of the battle round, the target fighter cannot make move actions or disengage actions.

Hooh boy, now this is a quad. A quad 6 spent on this on say, a Serpent, will result in the on average 1 Crit it does to 10 DAMAGE. If it Crits twice? No need to even roll to see if they’re paralysed, they’re straight up dead.

This is a brutal on anything with 4+ attacks as they have pretty good odds to score that Crit and absolutely end some up and coming Thrallmaster’s career.

The paralyzing edge is a nice touch too, given you can use this to punch an absolute hole in an enemy threat and also prevent it from even being able to move.

Way funnier when applied with a whip or shooting attack from the Serpent Caller.

Splintered Fang Strategy & Tactics

The first step to an effective Splintered Fang warband is deciding which direction you want to build them in. The warband direct from the box is fine against other boxed Warcry warbands but the moment you face an optimized list you will go down hard. The two key ways to build a Splintered Fang warband are choosing to prioritize the strength of your infantry, or the unique nature of your Serpent Caller. Personally I opted to play around with infantry, so that is the list we will go over. 

Splintered Fang Roster Building

My Splintered Fang list, as above, is the infantry variant. Naturally I have forgone any Purebloods, as they are garbage. The trick in assembling this list is taking the time to repose hands and heads, as the warband ends up looking very static. Fortunately, short of customization and variation no clever conversions are required to get this list, everything you need is in the warband box + Slaves to Darkness Double Box.

Aiden’s Splintered Fang – Acolytes of the Ouroboros 


  • Trueblood (Leader)
  • Clearblood with Shield
  • Clearblood with Shield


  • Venomblood with Shield and Spear
  • Venomblood with Shield and Spear
  • Venomblood with Dueling Blades


  • Venomblood with Shield and Spear
  • Venomblood with Dueling Blades
  • Venomblood with Blade and Barbed Whip

Yeah, you better believe I’m committed to the VenombloodMeta (coming soon to a store near you). This warband definitely requires you to pick up the Double Box to supplement your existing models, but on the bright side doing so gives you a highly functional tool kit to build whatever Splintered Fang list you can imagine.

The Trueblood and his Clearblood posse are pretty much only there because we NEED a Leader, and the Leader needs to remain alive, and the Shield needs at least a third of the warband in it. Let them play backfield objectives and stay alive, that’s all they need to do.

The Hammer and Dagger however, or as I like to think of them in this case, the twin fangs of the serpent, will be about their business around the table.

Each of these units has enough damage paired with generic abilities like Rampage and Onslaught to tear through any battlegroup that comes for them, so play as aggressive as possible.


As above, play it safe with the Leader unit, but the other two battle groups are the absolute danger-zone for the enemy. Running full speed at them and engaging them immediately could result in an immediate tabling for the enemy if they don’t back off and give you the run of the table. A single Venomblood popping Poisoned Weapon will immediately kill any Chaff unit with no trouble, and if they like they can even use their 2”/3” reach to attack models hiding behind Chaff.

In scenarios that revolve around killing the enemy warband/leader, you’re in your element. In objective-based scenarios you are still better off deploying as aggressively as possible. This will disrupt the enemy ability to do the same, which you cannot afford.

A lone Venomblood can hold an objective, as long as they killed everyone else that could take it from them.

The Game

It’s easy to define the matchups between other warbands and the Splintered Fang. You can put out some serious damage. You cannot take much at all or you will lose.

  • The warband’s ability to damage the enemy is very tethered to Crits on most units. However, should your Crits pop off they will end the game. This “all-in” playstyle summarizes the Splintered Fang to a T, they want all of their fighters fighting from Turn 1, and they want to stay fighting in as many activations as possible. 
  • Not being shot to death is also a good idea when playing the Splintered Fang. Games Workshop tends to balance shooting attacks in Warcry by giving them low strength (for the most part), but your toughness 3/4 means that that won’t be helping you. Weave between buildings, your Venombloods only have 10 wounds so a single Crit hit from a Longstrike Crossbow will kill them instantly.
  • Your models have wide access to melee weapons with a range greater than 1”, but don’t be tempted into always staying out of the 1” bubble. This frees the enemy to simply leave the engagement and make a move action rather than a disengage action.
  • Remember to use generic abilities like Respite and Inspiring Presence as survival tools. Inspiring Presence is a good way of getting a hit in before the enemy gets a chance to kill a vulnerable but dangerous fighter. 


The Splintered Fang are a demanding and varied warband that rewards experimentation and list building. The initial cost of purchasing the extra models is strongly balanced by the tactical flexibility it provides.

Enemies may be stronger than you. Faster even, or more mobile, but when you have tricks up your sleeve and a willingness to do anything to win… it’s as simple as One Cut, One Kill.