15 Jul 2014

Warriors of Chaos Unit Overview - Lords

Hey there everyone, my name is Learn2Eel and today I wanted to discuss perhaps the most dangerous and proficient warriors in the world of Warhammer Fantasy; the Warriors of Chaos. These savage northmen model their culture entirely around the worship and veneration of the Chaos Gods, earning their status and rank through blood and sacrifice. This warrior-driven society translates incredibly well to the table-top, providing the most elite fighting force in Warhammer Fantasy and some of the most destructive unit options available to any army with some incredibly versatile army building potential due to the Marks system. To dedicate ones-self to a Chaos God is to damn their soul for eternity, but the gifts and punishments all vary on the Path of Ascension!

Warriors of Chaos

Due to popular user demand I have decided to do a Unit Overview write-up not only for Warriors of Chaos but for certain other army books I have intimate experience with, such as the Legion of Azgorth from the Tamurkhan: Throne of Chaos campaign and the Lizardmen of Lustria. Warhammer Fantasy is quickly becoming my primary game-system offered by Games Workshop and my appreciation of all the unique and varied forces available has given me so much inspiration for a wide variety of competitive armies to field. These articles will serve as introductory minor reviews to each respective faction and will potentially snow-ball into full fledged Tactica series in the future when Games Workshop decides to slow down its' hellish release schedule. Currently, Astra Militarum, Orks and Dark Elves are at the top of my list, but my ever-growing experience with Warriors of Chaos may see them included in the next few months.


Archaon - The Everchosen is truly one of the strongest special characters in Warhammer Fantasy and lives up to his name as the Harbinger of the End Times with a unique mixture of damage, survivability and wizardry. Archaeon has a profile typical of most Chaos Lords that other combat characters can only salivate at, with natural Strength and Toughness 5, Initiative 7, a whopping four wounds, Weapon Skill 9 and one of only three native Leadership 10 general options in the army book. He is virtually immune to most characteristic test based spells like the Purple Sun or Dwellers Below, and with a base 2+ armour save and 3+ ward save he is nearly impossible to defeat through conventional means. To make matters worse, the best result one can wound Archaeon on is a 3+ - anything that wounds automatically or would usually wound on a 2+ will still need a 3+ which is an effective "up yours" to Poisoned Attacks. Combining all the various Marks of Chaos sees that enemies with Weapon Skill 4 or lower will need 6s to hit Archaeon in close combat, while almost any dedicated melee unit will be hitting him on 5s. If that wasn't enough, Archaeon has an in-built re-roll for Eye of the Gods chart results which reduces the chances of turning him into a Spawn or Daemon Prince to almost nil - though the latter is sometimes a nice result.

As if Archaeon wasn't already a winner in terms of survivability, what he provides for the rest of the army will save you so many points on things like Battle Standard Bearers. Archaeon himself causes Terror (mostly invalidating his Mark of Slaanesh) and has an 18" Inspiring Presence on Leadership 10 which is usually the domain of Elven generals, but what really sets the Everchosen apart is that he acts as a Battle Standard Bearer by allowing friendly units within 12" to re-roll failed Break tests - much like Valkia. Battle Standard Bearers are expensive for an army like Warriors of Chaos and having Archaeon fill both the General and "BSB" role in one admittedly expensive but almost unstoppable model works wonders for the army. That he can be thrown into any unit regardless of their own Mark of Chaos means you can combine him with a Battle Standard Bearer in larger games to practically ensure your army will never run. Archaeon really packs on the value by also being a Level 2 Wizard that can roll from one of five separate lores including the ever popular Shadow and Death. While a Level 2 Wizard in your Lord choices will prevent you from taking a far more useful Level 4 outside of 5000+ point games, that it is your incredibly durable general does at least see you won't have to worry about losing the wizard outside of specific Tzeentch or Nurgle builds.

Three paragraphs into a review and I still haven't reviewed his melee capabilities - stop the clock! As mentioned, Weapon Skill 9 with Strength 5 base is already the cream of the crop for combat Lords, but Archaeon takes the word "ridiculous" to a whole new level. Six attacks base at Strength 5 that ignore armour saves might not be as good as five Strength 7 attacks from a Vampire Lord with Red Fury and Quickblood, but Archaeon's higher Weapon Skill, Initiative and combination of Marks and natural durability see him pull ahead as a straight character killer. If you want to take a great risk for glory - and as a Chaos Lord, that answer should be easy! - then you can use Archaeon's daemon blade to double his attacks up to 10 and virtually guarantee enemy combat Lords will simply evaporate before your strikes, and even entire units of elite infantry or monstrous cavalry!

Rolling 1s to hit will hit either Archaeon's unit or himself at Strength 5 and ignoring armour saves, but if he is with a Tzeentch unit or directs them against himself there should be little to worry about. Against himself, Strength 5 against Toughness 5 sees that he needs 4s to wound, and then he gets a 3+ ward save. Not all that unsafe, eh? If you want Archaeon to get into combat as quickly as possible then his Monstrous Cavalry mount Dorghar is an option and also makes him entirely immune to Killing Blow while providing a handy three Strength 5 attacks and the Strider special rule, but it is a very expensive option that restricts it to games of 2600 points or more. Ultimately, Archaeon is an all-in-one character package that will scare the pants off of almost anyone and still give you awesome and crucial buffs like spells and a Leadership 10 "Hold the Line" effect. He pays for himself but he is obviously only worthwhile in massive games of 3000 points or more where taking him won't guzzle all of your points.
Competitive? Yes.

Galrauch - Fire, Fire, Fire, Six, Six, Six! If you don't get the reference, just take a look at Galrauch's profile and see that outside of his impressive Leadership 9, the Tzeentch Dragon has all sixes for stats. All things considered, wouldn't that make it more of a Slaanesh monster? In any case, Galrauch has a profile that closely mimics the standard Chaos Dragon but carries three key improvements (though one of them doesn't matter), with Ballistic Skill 6, Initiative 6 and a slightly higher Leadership. The standard "Moon Dragon" profile is impressive enough for a monster but generally handicapped by its weakness to Initiative based characteristic tests that kill instantly upon failure such as the Purple Sun of Xereus or the Pit of Shades. Having Initiative 6 in combination with a wealth of Strength 6 attacks in combination with Terror makes Galrauch a very nasty melee monster that can quite easily take on most other monsters and even entire units solo. Galrauch is also pretty survivable with six Toughness 6 wounds, a 3+ armour save and 6+ ward save, but sadly these will not protect him from the more powerful war machines like cannons and bolt throwers.

Like the Chaos Dragon, Galrauch possesses two distinct breath weapons with only one of these being identical to its lesser twisted brethren. A Strength 4 Flaming Breath Weapon is typical of most Dragons and gives Tzeentch's favoured pet a nifty horde-clearing tool, but what makes Galrauch truly terrifying to face for expensive characters is his unique Breath of Change. Any model touched or otherwise affected by the Breath of Change has to take a Toughness test or be slain instantly, ignoring immunities to Killing Blow or Heroic Killing Blow. This can be used to clear out half of a horde of White Lions and potentially snipe out any characters hiding in the unit, or inflict 2D6 "hits" on a high value character or monster and have an incredibly high chance of killing them. The average roll of 2D6 is 7 and the rulebook states that all characteristic tests (excluding Leadership) are failed on the roll of a 6 regardless of the models' actual characteristic. See that 500+ point Vampire Lord or otherwise incredibly expensive monster like a K'daii Destroyer or Iron Daemon War Engine? Use this in combat and see that model disappear to the warp while Galrauch itself can happily continue about its' business! Initiative 6 sees that the Chaos Dragon can use this before most enemies strike, and if this isn't the case then six Toughness 6 wounds with that 3+ armour save and 6+ ward plus a naturally high Weapon Skill should see Galrauch survive to leave his mark.

Much like Archaeon though, Galrauch tries to pack on the value and save you points on other characters by combining both a combat monster and magic user choice with a whopping Level 4 Wizard Level. Though he is unfortunately restricted to the sub-par Lore of Tzeentch, the fact that a mostly magic missile and direct damage based lore is available on a flying monster that also packs in two breath weapons sees that Galrauch is terrifying both at range and up close. Unfortunately, that is also where the downsides to the great beast claw their way through. At the start of each of its' own turns, Galrauch has to take a Leadership test on his value of nine that, if failed, causes it to strike itself with three Strength 6 attacks needing 4s to hit and 4s to wound that leave Galrauch with only a 6+ armour save and 6+ ward save for defence. This doesn't seem too bad, but it is the fact that Galrauch cannot act at all otherwise whether it be movement, spells or his breath weapons that can just turn a game completely on its head.

For this reason, a Battle Standard Bearer must be kept close to Galrauch so that this cannot take effect; risking a 500+ point probable General to just doping around and doing nothing but attacking itself is unacceptable. This will likely require a mobile Battle Standard Bearer which thankfully isn't an issue if you are sticking to a Tzeentch theme; take an Exalted Hero on a Disk or Daemonic Mount with a 1+ armour save and 3+ ward save re-rolling 1s and you'll have a pair of characters that will devastate almost anything that gets in their way. Once you factor in the stat boosts and the Level 4 Wizard status of Galrauch plus his incredible unique breath weapon, he is worth the points over a regular Dragon - unfortunately, this is small praise when considering Dragons aren't that great currently. I think Galrauch is worth it if you have the tools to deal with enemy war machines, but otherwise he is an expensive General option that can fall just a bit too easily to cannons, magic and dedicated shooting.
Competitive? No.

Kholek - One of the awesome aspects of the Warriors of Chaos army book that few others mimic is the option to take a monster as the army general, and Kholek is the second of these two for the Chaos Northmen. The mountain-sized "Suneater" trades all magical abilities for incredible melee potential compared to Galrauch, with stats that should rightfully make all other monsters stop in their tracks in both respect and fear. Weapon Skill 8, Strength 8 and 7 Attacks with magical attacks that inflict D3 wounds per unsaved wound is about as destructive as it gets. For the uninitiated, that is on average a dead Frostheart Phoenix, Moon Dragon, Khemrian Warsphinx or Ancient Stegadon - and these are some of the most durable monsters in the game! Toss in how absolutely brutal a Strength 8 Thunderstomp is and rank and file models will just fall in droves against Kholek, while most characters need to be so careful as even one unsaved wound from the "Mountain God" could be enough to slay them outright. Per the FAQ Kholek is also very hard to kill through conventional means with an incredible eight Toughness 6 wounds and a 2+ armour save, using Immune to Psychology and his Storm Rage as additional situational defensive measures.

When looking for a combat oriented monster, there are three key tenets to follow for them to be effective; they need to hit hard, be mobile and also reasonably survivable for the cost. Monsters like the Kharibdyss and Frostheart Phoenix generally follow at least two of these principles very well and do ok on the third, but Kholek effectively combines all three. As hard-hitting and survivable as he is, it would be worthless if Kholek lacked the speed to make full use of those abilities; thankfully, he has an awesome Movement 8 that ensures he will be putting lots of pressure on the enemy from turn two onwards. The inability to kill Kholek with a single cannon shot and the unlikelihood of pulling it off with two is a trait almost no other monster in the game shares outside of Storm of Magic, but there is one crucial weakness that is just too easily countered for Kholek to be a truly competitive choice. Initiative 1 is a death sentence against users of the Lore of Shadow or Lore of Death (fittingly) regardless of Kholek's incredible eight wounds, and the "Suneater's" high points cost is likely to exclude any significant magic defence in the form of a Level 4 outside of 4100+ point games. As horrendously powerful as Kholek is, that he excludes you from taking a Lord level wizard outside of immensely sized games and is hard-countered by massed war machines and Initiative test based death spells is just too big of a weakness to have on such an expensive model.
Competitive? No.

Sigvald - Compared to the three special characters above, it is reasonable to feel somewhat deflated when one analyzes Sigvald's capabilities; however, he still brings a pretty nasty combat character for the points. Sigvald is your standard Chaos Lord with one higher Initiative and Leadership, the former of which combines with his Always Strikes First to give him re-rolls to hit against almost all foes, while the latter sees Sigvald is actually a pretty valuable General that combines perfectly well with a Battle Standard Bearer. For defence, Sigvald has an impressive 1+ armour save on foot in addition to three Toughness 5 wounds with a 4+ Regeneration. While this does make him far too susceptible to Killing Blow, that Sigvald has Always Strikes First with a minimum of seven Strength 5 Armour Piercing attacks all with Weapon Skill 8 sees that most sources of Killing Blow will be cut down in mere moments. Outside of Killing Blow and high Strength Flaming Attacks offered by something as rare as a K'Daii Destroyer, Sigvald will easily survive most attacks and can feasibly stand against a kitted out Vampire Lord in a challenge and emerge victorious. Even despite "only" being Strength 5, Armour Piercing with so many attacks and incredible stats with Always Strikes First gives Sigvald a huge advantage over most enemy combat characters with very few - usually much more expensive than he - being able to beat him one-on-one.

Sigvald's other abilities also serve to patch up some issues in a Warriors of Chaos force, namely the usual lack of a Leadership 10 Inspiring Presence. Combine this with Slaanesh units having an improved version of Immune to Psychology that still allows them to flee if necessary and you'll have yourself a fighting force that won't go anywhere fast, but Sigvald possessing Stubborn is what makes this so good. While Warriors of Chaos generally don't function around out-lasting foes but are instead best focused on smaller high damage units because of their high cost per model, Sigvald does make the unusual tactic work as his unit is pretty much guaranteed to never run when combined with a Battle Standard Bearer. Unfortunately, he also brings has another trait that can prove to be his downfall, and that is Stupidity with no potential for re-rolls.

While Leadership 10 does mean that the odds of failing this test roughly equate to one failure in six standard game turns, that it can happen in any friendly Movement Phase is a killer considering that Sigvald plus a minimum seventeen strong unit of Chaos Warriors as a bodyguard easily eats up 700+ points. If it happens when your unit is about to pull of a crucial charge or needs to move into position to set one up or otherwise escape pressure from the enemy, it can change the game in an instant and see a crushing victory reduced to a quivering failure. Still, for his cost, it is really hard to complain about a very unlikely event when you consider how good a combat character is - he eats units and most characters with ease - and how important Leadership 10 is for Warriors of Chaos. He has been a star in every game I've seen him employed and he is likely to surprise you with his awesome combination of survivability, damage output and helpful buffs. That he gains a guaranteed +1 Attack per Eye of the Gods "roll" is just a handy little bonus that only adds to Sigvald's value, making him one of the better options for a Chaos Lord on foot.
Competitive? Yes.

Valkia - The blood flows from the skies in torrents when Valkia is present, and so too do the fields run red when she enters battle. Packing in the usual Chaos Lord profile with a few improvements might seem somewhat lacklustre but that is before remembering that the Chaos Lord has by far the best basic profile of any Infantry combat Lord in the game. Valkia packs in Weapon Skill 9 and Initiative 8 with Fear to force most enemies to hit her on 5s and other combat characters to hit her on 4s at best for the most part, while she will strike even deny re-rolls to hit to a Vampire Lord with Quickblood. Where the Gorequeen really distinguishes herself is in her stock damage output, an area where most combat characters simply cannot compare; seven Strength 5 attacks with Armour Piercing obviously mimic Sigvald, but throw in +2 Strength and Killing Blow on the charge and Valkia will tear apart almost any enemy that gets in her way. Characters that are either dependent on saves excluding those of the ward type or have no immunity to Killing Blow will be terrified of Valkia and rightfully so as befits her background. She can also tear through units as tough as monstrous cavalry with relative ease with so many attacks at a minimum -3 penalty to armour saves. Like Sigvald she also has a preset Eye of the Gods reward where she always gains +1 Strength to complement her seven base attacks; this is awesome even before you consider that it makes her immune to turning into a Chaos Spawn.

As a running theme of the Warriors of Chaos special characters filling two roles in one model, Valkia gives you an ability similar to Archaeon where friendly units within 12" must re-roll failed Break tests. This does come with a nasty twist though as if the unit does end up fleeing then it suffers D6 Strength 6 hits - you had better make the most of that Leadership 9 Inspiring Presence and effective Hold Your Ground! There are some key issues with Valkia that one does need to keep in mind beyond that particular penalty, though, and these are key to making full use of her impressive abilities. With a 2+ armour save and no ward or regeneration save, Valkia is the least survivable of the Lord choice special characters outside of Vilitch and is just too susceptible to a mass of high Strength Always Strikes First attacks from attackers like Swordmasters of Hoeth or a Vampire Lord with Quickblood and the Ogre Blade. She is incredibly expensive for what she brings to the table and is subject to Frenzy, something which does impact on one of her best uses.

As a model with the Fly special rule Valkia is great for hiding in a unit and allowing them to benefit from her Gaze of Khorne rule, then she can later leave the unit and declare a flying charge against a further target like a war machine crew or a lone mage model. Unfortunately, Frenzy on Leadership 9 does make this tactic a bit iffy and can actually see Valkia solo charge an entire block of infantry by herself with no support from her parent unit if they fail their own charge. Still, a Flying combat character that is so darned nasty on the charge makes her a potent tool for dealing with chaff, war machines and even some of the less survivable monsters. That she removes a single Attack and a point of Strength from enemies in base contact with her is a really good defensive combination that makes her very difficult to deal with outside of Strength 6 or higher strikes. As cool as all her abilities, model and background are, she is sadly just far too expensive for what she does, especially when compared to someone like Sigvald or even a standard Chaos Lord.
Competitive? No.

Vilitch - I think the best word to describe Vilitch is "interesting", both because of how odd his rules are and how pricey he (or they) is. Despite being a special character dedicated to Tzeentch, Vilitch is surprisingly fragile with three Toughness 4 wounds, 4+ armour and a mere 6+ ward save on defence. Compared to standard Sorcerer Lord builds that usually end up at a far lower points cost than Vilitch, his defensive capabilities can pretty accurately be described as weak - especially in an army where the points are so tight like Warriors of Chaos. The only noteworthy improvements to the stats are Strength 5 and an extra attack with paired hand weapons, but the fragility of the character makes combat an almost suicidal venture and thus wastes the boosted profile. He is a Level 4 Wizard that is a Loremaster of the Lore of Tzeentch which is widely regarded as one of the weaker spell lores available to Warriors of Chaos, and he only has one other ability to distinguish himself from a generic Sorcerer Lord.

The Vessel of Chaos rule seems powerful in practice but is ultimately quite limited in application, especially against a magic dominance list that generates so many power dice like a Herdstone Beastmen or Light Council Tomb King build. With the possible exception of Warriors of Chaos and (obviously) Dwarves, almost every competitive army list will feature a Level 4 Wizard simply because 8th Edition requires you to have strong magic defence against all the test-or-die spells. Unless you play against an opponent that regularly attempts to six-dice or even low-ball the big spells like Purple Sun, being able to "steal" dispel dice is unlikely. On the flip side, opponents will tend to dispel one spell a turn based on average Winds of Magic rolls with Dispel Scroll equivalents and Wizard Level differences pushing an extra dispel through. This is an ability that you will probably see once every two game turns and maybe once per game turn at best unless your opponent is exceedingly greedy with their spell casting. The simple truth is that it just does not make up for Vilitch's intense points cost whatsoever and ensures that outside of incredibly specific themed builds, a generic Sorcerer Lord is a far better purchase because they can choose better wargear, improved spell lores and superior Arcane Items like a Chaos Familiar.
Competitive? No.

Daemon Prince - I don't particularly recall how a Daemon Prince performed in the old army book but from memory it was considered a sub-par choice to a Chaos Lord in almost all situations; my, how the tables have turned! The Daemon Prince has one of the best basic profiles of any monster in the game with an incredible Weapon Skill 9 and Initiative 8, five Strength 6 attacks for offence and a middling four Toughness 5 wounds and 5+ ward save for survival. The Prince doesn't really need any help in melee offence as it is just so good already, but despite the high price of doing so investing heavily into its durability and magic potential are always worthwhile. This is a unit that needs a big investment of points to really make the most of its potential, much like a Vampire Lord - go big or go home! Between mundane and magical items a Daemon Prince can easily get up to a 1+ armour save and 5+ ward save that makes it all but immune to small arms fire, while the Mark of Nurgle turns it into a near immortal melee death machine. Its' only obvious weakness is to war machines and particularly cannons, but the Charmed Shield is a safe option to keep the Prince safe - Flying movement should do the rest as a Prince can guarantee a charge on turn two. Once the Prince is in combat and has the "netbuild" with a 1+ armour save, 2+ ward against flaming attacks, Mark of Nurgle, Other Tricksters' Shard and so on, it is pretty much game over as it is almost impossible to kill there. That is before one even mentions possibly the best aspect of the Daemon Prince - it is purely Unbreakable with no downsides, meaning no Daemonic Instability or anything like that. Want to hold up an enemy death star unit? Throw a Nurgle Prince into it and watch as your opponents 1000+ point investment sits there doing absolutely nothing as they struggle to hit the Daemon Prince while it provides both magic and a Leadership 9 general.

If all that sounds confusing, it is because the Daemon Prince is possibly the best character in the game if you invest heavily in it. That it is a monster and thus immune to Killing Blow while providing a Strength 6 Thunderstomp in addition to the rest of its usual strikes makes it one of the nastiest combat Lords around, while its stats are good enough to be virtually immune to the test-or-die spells. Weapon Skill 9 and the Mark of Nurgle is an absolutely brutal combination that sees even models like Archaeon needing 5s to hit the Daemon Prince in combat, while its speed and equipment-dependent survivability see that it should make combat early on and relatively unharmed. The inclusion of the Soul Feeder wargear that works for all unsaved wounds caused in close combat is what makes the Daemon Prince just laugh off any wounds it suffers from shooting - the once place it is vulnerable - as its 5 attacks and D6 Thunderstomp strikes at Strength 6 ensure it will rip through nearly anything outside of incredibly tanky characters. If that wasn't enough, you can even save yourself a lot of points on a Sorcerer Lord and make your Daemon Prince a Level 4 Wizard (or lower level) - give it any of the great lores Warriors of Chaos have access to and watch the carnage that ensures. Nurgle will buff the Prince up even further and provides lots of useful augments and hexes, while Death synergizes so well with Flying movement to snipe out potentially threatening characters or even destroy entire armies with the Purple Sun. Shadow is a toolbox lore that is useful in almost any situation, while Slaanesh is such an awesome spell lore with so many useful hexes and the absolutely ridiculous Cacophonic Choir. Provided you give it a good armour save and a high Wizard Level, the Daemon Prince will prove a fantastic purchase that is well worth all the points you can sink into it.
Competitive? Yes.

Chaos Lord - Whenever an army book introduces a new spin on the combat Lord role, they are inevitably compared against what it is surely seen as the cream of the crop - the Chaos Lord. No character with the infantry unit type combines aggression and survivability like a Chaos Lord does, coming stock with both equipment and stats that any other Lord would fall over themselves twice to have. Weapon Skill 8 is superior to almost any other standard combat Lord, while Strength and Toughness 5 are usually only matched by Vampire Lords and Saurus Oldbloods. Initiative 7 with 5 Attacks base is very impressive, while Leadership 9 make the Chaos Lord a pretty valuable General choice. What really sets the Chaos Lord apart is that they have a 4+ armour save base without any upgrades and will usually gain a nice little benefit each time they kill a challenge opponent or a monster - both of which are very likely considering you can have something ridiculous like six Strength 8 attacks at Weapon Skill 8 and Initiative 7! Being forced to issue and accept challenges is nowhere near as big a disadvantage for Warriors of Chaos as it is for Chaos Space Marines because the former actually does dominate close combat for the most part. It is nonetheless ideal to keep at least a unit champion or Battle Standard Bearer in the same unit as a Chaos Lord so that they aren't forced to accept or issue a challenge against a foe they can't beat or that would waste their attacks.

Having a 4+ armour save base and access to arguably the most varied range of mounts in any army book leads to a character that has so many competitive builds available. A Khorne Lord on a Juggernaught with the Collar of Khorne will butcher entire units, have an immunity to Killing Blow and give the already terrifying Skullcrushers a 4+ ward save against spell damage. A Nurgle Lord on foot can join almost any unit imaginable and best almost anyone in close combat, while a Tzeentch Lord on a Daemonic Mount will prove nearly impossible to put down. A Slaanesh Lord on a Steed of Slaanesh can be used as an expensive glass hammer that will nonetheless be downright scary because of their mobility, and points allowing any Mark will suit a Chaos Lord bestride a colossal Chaos Dragon! That a Chaos Lord can attain a 1+ armour save entirely through mundane equipment - shield and barded steed - when (s)he is also Toughness 5 is just ridiculous and is mimicked only by a Saurus Oldblood and Dwarf Lord, though obviously neither are nearly as offensively oriented as a Chaos Lord either. Though combat Lords have generally fallen out of favour for most armies with magic dominance just being as powerful as it is, Chaos Lords are nonetheless easily among the best around in that role and are well worth your time if you don't want to go down the seemingly mandated Level 4 Wizard route.
Competitive? Yes.

Sorcerer Lord - If you feel up to a little game, here is a question for you; how many Wizards can take armour options (excluding bonuses provided by being mounted, spells and so on). It is a painfully short list and the Sorcerer Lord sits comfortably at the top of it with good reason. While the Sorcerer Lord is roughly 50 points more expensive than the Lord level wizard options of other armies, that price boost is not without benefit. Toughness 4, a 4+ armour save and access to incredible defensive gear like a 3+ ward save with re-rolls of 1s sees that they aren't anywhere near as easy to kill as the equivalents are in other army books. Additionally, they are no slouches in combat either with three Strength 4 attacks at Weapon Skill 5 and Initiative 5, though disappointingly they are a mere Leadership 8 which is pretty poor for a General.

With access to some of the best spell lores in the game including Death, Shadow and Slaanesh plus some more situational but still useful ones like Nurgle and Metal gives Sorcerer Lords some excellent versatility with spells, while their respectable combat prowess ensures they are a threat in at least two game phases each turn. They can be given insane mobility with the various Daemonic Mount options like the Disc of Tzeentch and then used to fling off the mostly medium to short ranged Lore of Death spells, or kept safe in a unit and used to buff friendly units with Toughness boosts using the Lore of Nurgle. They have all the tools to be very useful and sometimes even crucial to a competitive list, but the question quickly becomes whether they are worth all those extra points over other Lord level wizard options. Personally, the ability to give a 1+ armour save and 3+ ward save re-rolling 1s to a Toughness 4 Level 4 wizard and still be under the 350 point mark is insane and easily worth all the points you have to pay for situational melee capabilities.
Competitive? Yes.

All three of the generic character options are fantastic and among the best of their respective archetypes in the game, while the special characters are mostly avoidable outside of Archaeon and Sigvald.

Thank you for reading this article! I have a wealth of experience against and with Warriors of Chaos both in pick-up-games and at a competitive level so I feel I have suitable experience to conduct a serious mini-review of their units. They are such a powerful army book that will beat out any army in a straight fight, but their inability to really offer much in the shooting phase does limit them somewhat. I am eager to hear your thoughts on the Warriors of Chaos and how they have performed both for and against you. Cheers, and have a nice day!


  1. Fantastic summary, I'm just about to start a chaos warrior army so I'll follow these posts closely!

    I'm particularly interested in your take on Dragons. I want one, you see, but they're not considered very good it seems...

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