The new Stormcast Eternals warscrolls from Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Soul Wars recently arrived on the Age of Sigmar app. These are the spell casters of Azyr, a whole chamber of warrior mystics, clad in heavy armour and wielding the magical power of Sigmar’s storm. Let’s take a look at what they can do and discuss some tactical options.
Lord Arcanum on Gryph Charger
A hero and leader of the Sacrosanct Chamber, the Lord Arcanum looks a solid all-rounder. He’s fast, has more wounds than a footslogging hero and has an ability for any circumstances. Spellcasting is much like the Lord Relictor’s prayers, allowing the Lord Arcanum to choose between a heal or a supercharged arcane bolt. Since most of his abilities provide buffs to nearby friendly units, you’ll want to keep some friends nearby. The Cycle of the Storm ability gives that bit of extra staying power in a drawn out combat. Based on some blurry images, it looks like we’re going to see a choice of mounts for this hero, ever increasing in points value, so there are interesting things to come.
There’s not much between these new Castigators and the older, and ever-reliable, Judicators. Castigators sacrifice 6″ of range on their bows for the choice of rerolling 1s to hit or increasing their rend to -2. There’s also the buff against Daemons and Nighthaunt which we see on a few of the Sacrosanct Chamber units. It’s a bit circumstantial but offers good flavour for the unit – they are holy warriors, after all. It’s a tough call between these and Judicators. Judicators probably offer higher damage with a shockbolt bow in the unit and potentially another round of shooting before the enemy gets too close. Using Castigators as part of a Lightning Strike deployment, however, can help whittle down a well-armoured or high value unit for Retributors or another hammer unit to finish the job.
Reminiscent or the old repeater bolt throwers (or quad heavy bolter rapiers, depending on who you ask), this is the first of the Stormcast artillery. It has the potential to kick out a lot of damage, particularly at short range, but won’t do that reliably. There’s a lot of rolling involved so expecting the full 24 damage every turn will quickly leave you disappointed. I can easily see a Lord Ordinator commanding a few of these as an artillery battery on a hilltop, especially in larger games. In smaller games, however, that approach is a heavy points sink, useless for objectives, and extremely dull to play and to play against. As a standalone war machine, it’s cool, looks great, and has its place.
Read the warscroll carefully, particularly the Celestial Lightning Arc ability. Judging by the number of meltdowns in Age of Sigmar forums, the wording could be clearer (expect an FAQ). You don’t roll 2 dice for each model in the enemy unit, you roll 2 dice for each model in the Evocator unit. These guys are very cool, and hats off to the rules writers for creating a wizard unit that acts slightly differently to hero wizards while still keeping the spell caster flavour. They have the offensive stat line of a hero and can buff Sacrosanct Chamber and Redeemer units through their Empower spell so would be very handy to keep near a unit of Paladins.
This standalone wizard has a few handy abilities. Granted, two of them are once-per-game but unbinding a spell (guaranteed) or dishing out mortal wounds (with a price to herself) can get you out of a bind. Her stat line is fairly standard for a Stormcast Eternal hero and her unique spell to throw out mortal wounds and reduce enemy charge distances could be a life saver in the thick of battle.
The rank and file of the Sacrosanct Chamber (battleline if led by a Lord Arcanum) are a slightly better version of Liberators. You don’t get the +1 to hit from Lay Low the Tyrant but you don’t need it because their hammers hit on 3s anyway. Sequitors can even employ more heavy weapons (greatmace) than the Liberators as 1 in 3 can have take 1, in addition to the Prime. They also follow the Sacrosanct Chamber’s theme of using the right tool for the job, giving them the choice of empowering their weapons or shields each turn. If you really need to just hold out on an objective, empower the shields to reroll failed saves. Do those Skyfires you’ve finally managed to pin down really need to die? Empower the weapons to reroll hits.
On the whole it looks like a balanced set of new units. Nothing stands out as being super powerful but everything is strong in its own role. Granted, Stormcast Eternals players are comparatively spoilt compared to all other factions (they are the poster boy and girls, after all) and these plug some of the holes (magic and artillery), allowing some well-rounded options for the tabletop.