New Warhammer Age of Sigmar Fyreslayers Battletome Review
High ho……. high ho …. the Dwarfs are on the go, thats right the fire loving Ur-Gold dwarfs are back in this latest battletome.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Games Workshop for sending us a copy free of charge to review, I am a huge fan of all things Dwarfs and this battletome has reignited ….. my love for the Duardin.
I would also like to remind you the reader that you can pre order your copy of the Fyreslayer battletome from Element Games and support us at the same time.
You can check out the video review below:
My love for Duardin takes us back to the world that was, during 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy the only army I played was Dwarfs and one of my favourite units were the Troll Slayers. When Games Workshop released the Fyreslayers I jumped on the army but it wasn’t until lockdown 2020 that the army really started to gain traction for me, I found myself painting about 1600 points of fiery duardin and adding Gotrek to the army to give me a nice fun 2,000 point list.
Unfortunately for me I sold the army as I really wasn’t happy with how I had painted it and while I slightly regretted it at the time I now see it as an opportunity to really spend more time painting them and enjoying the army even more this time around.
The new Battletome : Fyreslayers is 88 pages and contains a history of the Fyreslayers, a detailed painting guide, path to glory and all the matched play rules from battle traits to grand strategies. If you are a fan of Fyreslayers then this book is for you.
With the lore section of this review I will do a brief outline of the narrative and lore in the book but like a lot of people I prefer to read the lore myself so I won’t contain too many spoilers.
The lore section in the Fyreslayer battletome starts off by explaining who the Fyreslayers are, we get a look into the Fyreslayer’s mercenary lifestyle and their pursuit of Ur – Gold and why it is so important to them.
In short they believe that the spirit of their warrior god Grimnir is stored in the Ur-Gold and only when enough of it is collected can they rebuild their god. Speaking of Grimnir we get a couple of pages that explain his battle with Vulcatrix the mother of the Magmadroths and Grimnir’s fate.
The best stuff in the lore for me was the return of Grungni who is Grimnir’s brother, the lore explains that the Fyreslayers, Dispossesd and Kharadron Overlords are all glad he’s back except for the Fyreslayers of the Lofnir lodge, we get a good idea of the relationship between the different Duardin factions that have come to a uneasy alliance; although there are still some big grudges.
We get a great timeline that starts of in the time of myth and leads all the way up to current events, with some details of what the Fyreslayers were doing the Soul Wars and the Realm gate wars, there are several pages about the Fyreslayer Magmaholds and the rolls that the different characters have within the holds. The four main lodges (Vostarg, Greyfyrd, Hermdar and Lofnir) all get a page to explain their narrative which when you read their abilities makes a lot of sense.
The last part of the lore section is taken up by lore of all the units in the battletome which I found to be the right ratio of narrative to pages, I find in some books a whole page dedicated to one unit can be a lot but this section in the Fyreslayer book is only six pages which for me was the right amount.
With a new battletome comes new allegiance abilities and we have some amazing ones that have returned and a few new ones that add a lot to the army.
So there are four Lodges in this book all returning from the previous battletome but all of them have been reworked and tweaked, the days of having 15 Hearthguard Berzerkers attacking twice are long gone and good riddance. Hermdar players I’m looking at you !!!
Vostarg : Vulkite Berzerkers get +1 to hit and too wound on a turn in which they charge. Needless to say if you want to run Vulkite Berzerkers this Lodge gives your units a huge boost but it is only on the charge so if you loose priority at the wrong time it could do nothing for you, still really good though.
Greyfyrd : Heroes that do not have a mount get +1 to their wounds characteristic and you 2 additional artefacts of power that you can give but only to heroes that do not have a mount. I really like this lodge as having a lot of heroes running around buffed up is really good and it lets to take artefacts that you would normally not.
Hermdar : If a Hermdar unit is wholly in enemy territory of wholly within 12″ of an objective then you halve the number of models that flee from battleshock, this encourages horde units that at the moment we do not really see, this lodge is fine but I feel it has missed that little bit extra to make it stand out to the other lodges. Hermdar does unlock Auric hearthguard as battle line but you can also do that by taking a Priest as your general.
Lofnir : Lofnir magmadroths get +2 wounds taking them up to 18 !!! wounds and you can give 3 magmadroths in your army a mount trait instead of 1. If you want to run a couple of magmadroths or indeed a whole army of magmadroths then this lodge is for you as more wounds is great and although there are only 3 mount traits in the book they are all useful, Runeson’s on Magmadroths also become battle line in this lodge so it is now possible to run a full army of magmadroths.
Fierce Counter Attack
This new ability gives Auric Hearthguard, Hearthguard Berzerkers and Vulkite Berzerkers the strike first rule in the enemy combat phase which is huge !!! even those Mawcrusha’s will think twice about charging your units if they aren’t attacking first.
There are some restrictions though, first off a unit can only receive this command once per game and because it is a command ability you cannot issue it more than once in your opponents combat phase; your unit that receives the command has to have been charged that phase and not within 3″ of an enemy unit that has not charged which gives your opponent ways to mitigate it or nullify this ability all together.
This ability does make Hearthguard Berzerkers really scary but the restrictions balance it out so the Fyreslayer player cannot abuse the ability which is very good rules design in my opinion.
Grimwrath Berzerkers get their own unique oaths that only applies to them, at the start of the first battle round you pick 1 of these oaths to apply to a Grimwrath Berzerker model, if you have multiple Grimwrath Berzerkers then you must pick a different one for each. The nice thing about this is you can tailor your choice to your opponents army which means unless you take a lot of Grimwrath Berzerkers you probably won’t be wasting these abilities.
I will cut down the priests of Grimnir’s enemies : When you attack an enemy Priest that is not a Fyreslayer you get +1 to hit, wound and damage for attacks that target them. Very nice but most priests will not be close enough to be charged by a movement 4 duardin.
I will guard them with my life : Instead of picking a unit of Auric Hearthguard or Hearthguard Berzerkers to be a retinue you can pick this Grimwrath Bezerker, this is a new rule for Runefather’s and Runeson’s on foot and basically gives the retinue the bodyguard rule.
I will let nothing stand in my way : This gives the ability to run and charge and you can re-roll the run and charge rolls, simple and really useful for a combat hero.
I will prove Grimnir’s might to our allies : Add 1 to hit and wound rolls for this model while within 12″ of an ally unit. Pretty good if you want to take allies but again you don’t have to decide this until the first battle round.
I will not be stopped : Gives a 6+ ward save which if you are within 3″ of an enemy unit is increased to a 5+, I like this as it rewards you for doing what Grimwrath Berzerkers should be doing, fighting in combat.
I will strike hard and true in Grimnir’s name : The unmodified hit roll for this model is a 6 the attack inflicts a mortal wound in addition to the normal damage, pretty good way of generating some extra damage on a unit that is pretty good for its points at inflicting damage.
This allegiance ability adds a lot to Grimwrath Berzerkers which is great as it makes a unit that is pretty low points cost and not a leader a lot more interesting and fun to play, now do I think we will see Grimwrath Berzerkers in every list ?, no but I have been playing more games of 1,000 points and at that level Grimwrath Berzerkers really shine.
So the Fyreslayers like to put Ur-Gold into their own skin as they believe that the spirit of Grimnir lies within and by doing so they will gain more power on the battlefield.
Well this narrative is represented on the tabletop by the following allegiance ability which is mostly the same as the previous battletome with some exceptions to make this ability more impactful for Fyreslayer armies.
So at the start of your hero phase you can pick one of the runes and roll a dice on a 1-5 it is the normal effect and on a 6 you get both the normal effect and the enhanced effect, looking at the enhancements for the army there is almost zero ways of manipulating the roll which makes the enhanced effect less likely but looking at them they are overall very good.
Rune of Fury : Normal effect gives +1 to hit with melee weapons which is super good having an in built all out attack army wide is amazing and the enhanced effect gives +1 attack as well. Having Hearthguard Berzerkers with 3 attacks hitting on 2’s is pretty good.
Rune of Farsight : The normal effect gives +1 to hit with Fyresteel throwing axes which are normally 4″s now so not bad if used at the right time while the enhanced effect gives +1 to wound with your Fyresteel axes, this is the worst of the runes as I do not think it will do that much but it could still be useful against the right targets en mass.
Rune of Searing Heat : The normal effect makes all 6’s to wound do a mortal wound in addition to the normal damage which is pretty good, the enhanced effect does a mortal wound on a 2+ to enemy units within 3″ when the rune is activated, this is one where i’m not too fussed if the enhanced effect doesn’t go off as the standard effect is really good.
Rune of Awakened Steel : Nice easy one, this increases the rend of melee weapons by 1 on the normal effect and by a further 1 on the enhanced, rend -3 across most of your army is really good especially with all those dragons flying around at the moment in tournaments.
Rune of Fiery Determination : The normal effect gives all Fyreslayers a 6+ ward save and the enhanced effect gives Fyreslayer Heroes a 5+ ward save, this one is good and will get used but I wonder how likely it is to get used over the others as killing more of your opponents models means you won’t be rolling as many ward saves in the first place but still pretty good.
Rune of Relentless Zeal : This one I think will get used first turn most games, the normal effect gives +2 move to all Fyreslayer units and the enhanced effect gives +2 to charges which if you are Vostarg will make getting those charges off more likely.
Picking the right order of activating these runes will be super important as you want to use the combat runes when the majority of units are in important combats while using the movement rune to get into position to capture objectives or make that important charge.
Blaze of Fury
This rule is a unique heroic action just for Fyreslayer Heroes which is similar to the finest hour, it allows the chosen hero to benefit from the enhanced effect of your chosen rune regardless of whether you rolled a 6 on the activation roll. Each hero can only use this once per game so you need to time it wisely.
Overall I really like the allegiance abilities and I feel they add a lot to the army, the Ur-Gold Runes are the main focus of the book as they affect all of your units and I think they are super strong, I look at the enhanced effects as icing on the cake and the standard effects as being the actual ability which again really help your whole army.
And now the enhancements.
The command traits in this book are spilt between two categories the first being for Runefather‘s and Runeson‘s only while the second set are for Fyreslayer Priests only.
Runefather and Runeson only
Fury of the Fyreslayers – +1 to charge rolls for Fyreslayers wholly within 18″ of the general. Really good range and great if you are playing Vostarg as getting those charges is a big deal.
Blood of the Berzerker – Once per game, after this general has attacked you can elect to fight for a second time but with the strike last rule. I really like this on a Magmadroth character as they have a lot of wounds and are most likely to survive to attack again.
Spirit of Grimnir – While the general is on the table the enhanced effect from the Ur-Gold Runes works on a 5+ instead of a 6. This is awesome as it is a force multiplier meaning it makes your whole army better and I think will be the go to choice in most of my lists.
Leader of the Duardrazhal – While this general is on the board Duardin allied units count as Fyreslayer units for the Ur-Gold Runes. Now Fyreslayers get access to both Cities of Sigmar and Kharadron Overlords as allies but I can’t think of too many units that really benefit, Hammerers with a Runelord could get -3/-4 rend but thats the only unit that really becomes silly still good if you want allies in your list.
Fyreslayer Priest only
Ash – Beard – The general with this trait knows two prayers instead of just one from the Fyreslayer prayers, not bad but you can still only pray once with each priest in a turn so I think this becomes better if you want more flexibility in your list.
Master Priest – Once per battle you can use an Ur – Gold rune that has already been used in the game, this is super good and I think we will see a Priest general most of the time for the ability to do the same rune twice in a game.
Avatar of Vulcatrix – When this general is slain you can summon a Molten Inferno evocation to the battlefield near to where the general died, compared to the other two this one is not great as the Molten Inferno invocation is not that good but more on that later.
The command traits are pretty good with only the Molten Inferno one being a bad choice and depending on what you want you have something, if you want to buff your general you can and if you want a more support trait there are some as well so two thumbs up from me.
Artefacts of Power
The artefacts in this book are again divided into 3 hero slots, Runefather and Runeson‘s, Priests and Fyreslayer hero.
Runefather and Runeson only
Master Rune of Unbreakable resolve – Once per battle the bearer gets a 3+ ward save for a phase which is really good for absorbing those Mawcrusha charges.
The Fiery Ring – Once per battle you can pick a unit within 6′ in your shooting phase and on a 2+ they take D6 mortal wounds. This has the potential to be really good at killing a little five wound hero that is behind an enemy screen but I really do not like the fact that you have to roll a dice and potentially do nothing which is why I do not think I would take this over almost any other artefact.
Magnetised Runes – Add two to charge rolls for the bearer, this combined with Fury of the Fyreslayers will give you +3 to charges and with the Rune of Relentless Zeal you can get the enhanced effect on a character once per game guarantee you can stack to get +2 move and +5 to charge for a turn, thats a potential turn 1 charge.
The Axe of Grimnir – Pick one of the bearers melee weapons and add one to the rend and damage of that attack, really good on both the Runefather and especially the Runeson who now has 5 damage 2 attacks.
Fyreslayer Priest only
Ash-cloud Rune – Once per battle, at the start of the enemy hero phase you can make all units wholly within 12′ invisible to enemy spells. Pretty good in the right matchup but I think this will be overshadowed by more reliable artefacts as not all armies have wizards and not all wizards have spells that affect your units.
Volatile Brazier – When the bearer attempts to summon an invocation you can re-roll the chanting attempt and double the range that the invocation can be set up, not great if i’m being honest simply because the invocations are not amazing but still doubling the range could make the Runic Fyrewall good for blocking off enemy units so I want to try it out.
Droth – helm – Add one to wound rolls for Magmadroth claws and horns attacks if they are wholly within 12′ of the bearer, really good and an auto include in a Lofnir lodge which I want to do at some point.
Draught of Magmalt Ale – Once per game at the start of the combat phase you can double the attacks of all the bearers melee weapons until the end of the phase, this feels like the perfect artefact to put in the core enhancements as there are soo many heroes who would want this and in a Fyreslayer army this is really the case, you will see this combined with Blood of the Berzerker to double your attacks and attack twice.
Nulsidian Icon – This can only go on a Battlesmith and gives all Fyreslayer units wholly within 12″ the ability to ignore spells and endless spells on a 4+, really good but it makes the Battlesmith a prime target for any shooting, still really good and I will take it.
The Daemon Slayer – One of the bearers melee weapons ignores ward rolls, great if you play against Nurgle a lot but other than friendly games I do not think you will see this over other artefacts as most ward rolls are a 6+ anyways.
In the new Fyreslayer battletome there are four prayers that your priests can choose from all of which I like and I think you will see.
Prayer of Ash – Range 18″ with an answer value of 4, pick a friendly Fyreslayer unit wholly within range and enemy units a -1 to wound that unit until the start of your next hero phase, yeah I really like this and I think you will see a priest in every list just for this prayer.
Ember Storm – Range 18″ and an answer value of 3 pick a unit of Vulkite Berzerkers or Hearthguard Berzerkers and they can run and charge again really good in Vostarg.
Prayer of Grimnir’s Fury – Range 12″ and an answer value of 3, pick a hero that does not have a mount and is within 3″ of an enemy unit, that hero can fight. This one is the only one that is a bit meh but I like to play 1,000 point games so I plan on taking some foot heroes and this could be really good.
Wrath of Vulcatrix – Range 12″ and answer value 3, this allows a Magmadroth to use the top row on the damage chart until your next hero phase, really good with a Runefather on Magmadroth and especially in the Lofnir Lodge.
For me the two stand outs are the Prayer of Ash and Ember Storm depending on how you build your list and the other two are both very good but in the right list, if your only foot heroes are priests then you probably won’t take Grimnir’s Fury but if you take a buffed up Runefather/Runeson in a 1,000 point game then it becomes very good.
Magmadroths are a big model for Fyreslayers….. literally and there are three mount traits that you can take to give them some more flavour or if you are a Lofnir lodge you can take all three !!!
Flame-scale Youngblood – If you carry out a stomp monstrous action you automatically do 3 mortal which is a nice bit of extra damage but unless you are Lofnir where you have to take this there is a better choice.
Cold-heart Ancient – Subtract 1 from the damage of melee attacks that target the bearer to a minimum of 1. WOW !!!! that is good and will make one of you Magmadroth heroes very survivable in combat.
Lava-tongue Adult – If the attacks characteristic of this models roaring fyrestream is less than 5 count it as 5, not great but it could cause some more damage over the course of the game.
Overall I think all of these mount traits are good but if you are not Lofnir then you can only take one which I think will always be Cold-heart Ancient as it massively adds to the survivability of your Magmadroth.
With all the enhancements out of the way we now jump into the matched play section of the battletome with the grand strategies and battle tactics.
Like all the new battletomes the Fyreslayers have access to their own grand strategies that are themed to the army, most of the time these do not appear to be very good compared to the generic ones found in the core rules but this does add a new tactical challenge to your games.
Guarded Lineage – When the battle ends if you have a Runefather and a Runeson on the table you complete this tactic, this is not a terrible strategy to take but limits you into taking more than one of each type which is a lot of points and eats into the amount of Priests you have in your army.
Defend the Lodge – You complete this if at the end of the game there are no enemy units in your territory, again not terrible but your territories change depending on the scenario you are playing so it might be easy to do in one game but very hard to do in another.
Oath-takers and Skull Breakers – You get this grand strategy if you complete at least four !!! battle tactics that are all Fyreslayer ones. This feels very hard to do especially compared to the generic ones in the core rules which is a shame if it had been two then I would consider taking this one.
Masters of the Forge – End the game with invocations on the board and under your control, probably one of the easier ones but one that you really have to build around by taking at least four priests and all three invocations which is not worth the three points in my opinion as there are easier ways to get a grand strategy.
Overall I don’t think I will be taking any of these as they are a lot harder to get than the generic ones in the core book and do not reward me for having to work a lot more, if these grand strategies gave more than three points for achieving them then I would strongly consider taking one. Until there is more of an incentive to take these army specific ones then I will probably just stick with the generic ones which is a shame.
There are six battle tactics for the Fyreslayers which are similar to the grand strategies in the fact they are themed around the narrative of the Fyreslayers.
Settle a Grudge – When an enemy unit destroys one of your units you can note that unit down ( a book of grudges sounds cool) and on a turn in which you pick this battle tactic if you kill that unit you get this tactic. This one is not that bad and I really like how its themed around settling a grudge on the tabletop.
Beastslayer – Pick an enemy monster and a friendly hero, if that hero kills that monster you get this battle tactic, this one is really good as there are a lot of monsters being played at the moment.
Grimnir Knows No Mercy – At the end of the turn if all Vulkite Berzerker units on the table are within 3″ of enemy units you get this battle tactic. Super simple one to do as you can take one unit of Vulkite Berzerkers and pick the right turn to use this battle tactic.
An Honourable Death – Pick one friendly hero and if that hero dies this turn and that hero killed any models this turn you complete this battle tactic. I love this battle tactic with a Grimwrath Berzerker as they can pile in and attack when they are killed in combat but this wouldn’t be one I aimed to get it is one that I would pick to take advantage of a bad combat, very cool in principle but it could be difficult to do.
Seize by Force – Pick this if at the start of a turn you control less objectives than your opponent, if at the end of the turn you control more objectives than your opponent you get this tactic. This one is great for turn 2/3 as you will undoubtably try to get more objectives than your opponent if they get an early lead.
An Ignominious Death – Pick an enemy hero, if that hero is killed by Fyresteel throwing axes you get this objective. Yeah this one is hard to do as your Fyresteel throwing axes are short range, not great and you do not get a lot of them, if its a 5 wound hero and they are pretty wounded already then maybe but there are easier ones to do so I’m not too optimistic about taking this one.
The warscrolls in the new Fyreslayer battletome are great, nothing jumps out to me as being bad and at the same time nothing jumps out as being really powerful either. The Magmadroths have all had a buff and are now pretty scary, not Megaboss on Mawcrusha scary but still a lot better than what they were.
Runefather, Runeson and Runesmiter on Magmadroth – So the big thing with these is the Magmadroth’s who have had a buff, the roaring fyrestream now is a regular shooting attack with a number of shots equal to the size of the enemy unit it is shooting at (max 10) which if you don’t shoot for a turn is -2 rend when you do shoot next turn, the Runefather now has a table wide once per game ability to pick a friendly unit who then gives all Fyreslayer units wholly within 12″ +1 attack and its not a command ability.
The Runeson on Magmadroth now has five damage 2 attacks which if you target a monster will do mortal wounds on a unmodified hit roll of a 6 which is pretty good when you combine it with some of the artefacts and command traits. The Runesmiter prayer gives a Fyreslayer unit +1 to wound which if armed with a runic iron you can re roll the chanting attempt or if armed with a forge key it has a range of 18″ instead of 12″, both good choices but I like the reliability of the re roll.
Fjul – Grimnir and the Chosen Axes – These are the Warhammer Underworld war band and they are okay but I feel Fjul- Grimnir is missing something that makes him interesting, stat wise he is the same as the Runefather on foot but doesn’t come with the unique ability to give out attacks, he does allow the chosen axes to pile in and attack after him if they are within 3″ but they are a bit pricey.
Runefather and Runeson – These are basically the same as their Magmadroth versions but they also get a retinue unit of either Auric Hearthguard or Hearthguard Berzerkers which are bodyguard units for their chosen hero, they can absorb wounds for the hero and after the hero has attacked the retinue unit can also attack if they are within 3″ of the hero.
Runemaster and Runesmiter – These are your Priest heroes who are going to be very popular in Fyreslayer armies, the Runemaster has had some cool tweaks, he now knows all of the Fyreslayer prayers and if he is within 3″ of your general gives you an extra command point. His war scroll prayer can pick a terrain piece wholly within 18″ and it blocks line of sight in the same way a Wyldwood does.
The Runesmiter has the tunnel ability still which allows you to set up him and another Fyreslayer unit up anywhere on the board 9″ away from enemy units, putting thirty Vulkite Berzerkers with shields on an objective turn 1 is amazing especially against Sons of Behemet; and for that reason alone I think you will see at least one of these heroes in every list.
Auric Flamekeeper – This guy hasn’t changed from the Fury of the Deep box which I was expecting him to get the Priest keyword but in all honesty I think it’s better that he isn’t a priest, in short at the beginning of the game you put a dice or token next to the model with the number 1 on it, then every time a friendly Fyreslayer model dies within 12″ you add one to the dice until you get to a 6. Then in combat you can give a buff to a unit nearby like being able to charge in your opponents combat phase or giving a unit +1 damage is really worth considering.
Battlesmith – The battlesmith is now really good especially with a big unit of Vulkites Berzerkers in toe, so he now gives Fyreslayer units wholly within 12″ a 6+ ward save but once per game can boost that to a 5+ which is soooooo good but thats not all, if a battlesmith issues the Rally command ability to a unit you get models back on a 4+ rather than a 6+…….. Oh and with the Nulsidian Icon ignoring spells on a 4+ the battlesmith is going to see play.
Grimwrath Berzerker and Doomseeker – The Grimwrath Berzerker is essentially the greatest warriors of a Fyreslayer lodge who can endure more Ur-gold then other Fyreslayers and as such are super strong, this translate pretty well to the tabletop. They are not leaders in both battlefield role and narrative which means you can take a lot of them if you wish and they are still heroes so putting an artefact on them can boost their combat abilities; plus the Grimwrath Oaths really do add a lot of flavour to this little hero. They have the ability to pile in and attack twice in the combat phase or pile in and attack when they die which makes them very good at killing small units on objectives.
The Doomseeker is essentially the same but has a lot less flavour, he doesn’t get any oaths and only gets better as he gets wounded, with only 5 wounds he will die quickly and can only attack a specific unit that you pick at the beginning of the game, he is a hero but for an extra few points you get a Grimwrath Berzerker who is just a lot better. I really like these heroes but I feel that you won’t see them in 2,000 point games only in 1,000 point games as they will have a lot less impact than some of the other more important heroes in larger games.
Hearthguard Berzerkers – The favourite unit of almost every Fyreslayer has to be (in my opinion) the Hearthguard Berzerkers and for good reason with 2″ reach and 2 different weapon options doing a lot of damage and now with the retinue rule they are really good at keeping your general alive while still being in the thick of combat. If there is a Fyreslayer hero wholly within 9″ then they have a 4+ ward save which keeps them alive long enough for them to kill a lot of enemy models, they have had a little price increase to account for the fierce counter attack rule but they are still really good.
Auric Hearthguard – These Fyreslayers have had a lot of war scroll changes over the years, in the previous battletome they did more damage to monsters and reduced their movement at the same time, now they have lost all of that and now if you roll a six to hit they reduce the targets movement by 1″. I’m not going to lie I like the fact that they made a shooting unit not too powerful but considering they hit on 4’s I can’t see them doing a lot, they are still fine but I would take a single big unit now to take advantage of an well timed all out attack.
Vulkite Berzerkers – There are 2 warscrolls now for Vulkites Bezerkers one with 2 hand axes and the other with a sling shield. The dual wielding axe Vulkites get an extra attack when they charge giving them 3 in total but as they only have a 5+ save they will die quickly, the bladed sling shield gives them a 4+ save and the Captain America shield throw when they charge into combat, both have the Berzerkers Fury special rule which in one combat phase they can pile in and attack when they die which is pretty good if you expect them to take heavy losses in a turn. The Auric Flamekeeper will be great with these guys adding extra damage or giving them the ability to fight when they die again will both be very good. I see these guys as being your big blocks that you plant on an objective while the Hearthguard Berzerkers are your damage dealers.
Molten Inferno – Of the 3 invocations in the book this one looks the coolest but it is sadly the worst of the 3. It has a move of 2D6 and you roll 12 dice which do a mortal wound for each 6, which is not that impressive to be honest, it does D3 mortals if the 2D6 move was a double.
Runic Fyrewall – This invocation used to block line of sight but now gives a 6+ ward save to a nearby unit on a roll of 1-5 but on a 6 it gives a 4+ ward save to a friendly fyreslayer unit. I like the idea of using this to block off parts of the board while still using it to add some protection to nearby units, it’s not bad if you have a few spare points.
Zharrgron Flame – Spitter – This invocation does the same as the Molten Inferno invocation but in a much better way, if there is a priest within 6″ at the start of a friendly shooting phase you can use this invocation. Pick an enemy unit within 24″ and roll 12 dice adding bonuses the bigger model count the target is for each 6 you do a mortal wound.
Magmic Battleforge – The Battleforge has remained pretty much the same with it receiving an updated war scroll for placement and being impassible, the terrain feature allows all friendly priests within 18″ to get +1 to chants if there is a priest within 6″ or you can loose this ability to get an army wide 6+ ward save for a turn, personally I like the +1 to chants but I suppose it depends on how many priests you have.
Overall I think the warscrolls in the book are very well written with only the Auric Hearthguard and Molten Inferno being a bit underwhelming, the Magmadroths having some big buffs means that we will see them popping up a lot more on tables and Hearthguard Berzerkers are still going to be really good especially as retinues.
Path to Glory
With all the new battletomes that have come out there is a path to glory section that mimics the narrative of your army and allows to play a campaign using themed rules which over time gives you a narratively driven force of your own.
The Fyreslayer path to glory section focuses on building up your supply of Ur-Gold by fulfilling mercenary contracts for various paymasters and yes you can be hired by a chaos paymaster although you might not want to be.
Vaults of Gold
During you path to glory campaign you will earn Ur-Gold which will be stored in your vault, in the battletome there is a roster that you can photocopy to keep track of this, the Ur-Gold in your vault can be spent to forge new artefacts that you can add to your vault or to automatically roll a 61-66 on an exploration roll, both of which are pretty good. Also your Warlord will gain bonus renown points depending on how much Ur-Gold you have in your vault so it is always worth keeping some.
In step 7 of the aftermath sequence you can choose to generate a mecernary contract for you army and after which you can choose whether or not to accept it, if you do not accept the contract then you cannot generate a new one until after your next game, there are bonuses and genuinely good reasons to accept or decline contracts.
First you need to determine who the paymaster is and which grand alliance they belong to by rolling 2D6 and consulting a chart, this can be modified by your reputation score which starts off at 0 and can be negative. There is a name and title chart to add some narrative element to your paymasters as you can work for the same one multiple times and gain bonuses like extra Ur-Gold if you do.
After determining who your paymaster is you then determine a quarry e.g. who the paymaster has hired you to fight each of which gives you a reward and a reputation modifier, working for chaos for example will give more Ur-Gold but really hurt your reputation.
After this stage you agree to accept the contract or not, if you get hired by a vampire lord to hunt down some seraphon you might get a hefty amount of Ur-Gold but at a cost of hurting your reputation, in order to fulfil a contract you need to win a major victory against that chosen grand alliance so for the example above you do not need to win against seraphon just a grand alliance order force. When you complete a contract you can choose to keep working for the same paymaster which allows you to roll twice on the quarry table and pick the result, which helps you to get the contracts that you really want.
Reputation also allows you to haggle on extra Ur-Gold if you have a positive reputation and if you paymaster is from the order grand alliance other alliance paymaster’s will not haggle on price, to do this you roll a dice, if the result is an unmodified 1 you have failed to negotiate and you subtract D6 from your reputation but any other result gives you a bonus and you add your reputation score to this roll.
If your reputation is negative 10 or more then your exploration rolls for the Ancient Roads territory are treated and Barren Wastes instead and any allied units in your order of battle can desert you, so its a good idea to balance your reputation with the amount of Ur-Gold you want to get.
There are four quests in this battletome that you can take in addition to the ones in the core book these are super cool and are themed around things you would expect Fyreslayers to do.
Templar of the Flames – Pick a Magmadroth in your order of battle if that unit kills an enemy unit in a game you fulfil this quest and get to add a mount trait to your vault, this trait can only be given to the Magmadroth that completed this quest.
Find the Lost Hold – This quest is all about finding Magmaholds that were lost during the Age of Chaos, at the end of a game you roll a dice for every friendly unit in the enemies territory and on a roll of a six you generate one clue point, when you have three or more clues you can play the “Reclaim the Hold” battle plan which i’ll talk about later on.
Settle a Grudge – You can only pick this quest after you loose a game, you then write down ( in a book of grudges obviously ) your opponents name and the faction in this book, you complete this quest when you win a major victory against the same grand alliance as the chosen faction which gives you D6 extra glory points, if the faction was the same you get 2D6 and if your opponent was the same you get 3D6 extra glory.
Slay Bitter Enemies – This one I quite hard depending on your player group but if you win a major victory against either Skaven or Gloomspite Gitz then each of your units that survived the game get extra renown points and your general gets a lot of renown if they kill the enemy general which is very well themed and something I would like to base a campaign around.
There are six unique veteran abilities that you can pick for your units every time they game a veteran ability, you can of course pick ones from the core book but these ones are tuned to the Fyreslayers specifically, these range from getting a 6+ ward save once per game to rolling 3D6 for a charge all of which are pretty good.
So when making an exploration roll of a 61-66 you get access to the territories in the Fyreslayers battletome which you can if you want pay Ur-Gold to automatically get if you want, these range from reducing the cost of barracks in your stronghold, sending units to fight in skaven warrens to gain some extra renown or allowing your Ur-Gold runes enhanced effects to activate on a 5+ while controlling a territory with a shard of Grimnir on it.
There is also a small section detailing how you can level up certain heroes in your order of battle by paying glory points and having a certain amount of renown, it will be pretty cool to see your Runeson become a Runefather.
Reclaim the Hold Battleplan
This battleplan sees the Fyreslayers player trying to reclaim a lost Magmahold by reigniting a Masterforge and two braziers, these are basically objectives that the Fyreslayer player can reignite by controlling them and rolling a 3+ (5+ for the master forge but you do get bonuses for each brazier ignited), however the Fyreslayers will need to control all three of these to win a major victory, depending on the result the Fyreslayers player might get a lot of Ur-Gold or none at all.
And that is the path to glory section of the book, of the previous battletomes this is my favourite as I love the idea of being a mercenary force building up my store of Ur-Gold and the narrative that I could create working for different paymasters is a really cool concept that I cannot wait to start building up, I think its fair to say I might be building a small fyreslayer force now just for path to glory games.
So its fair to say I am quite found of duardin especially the Fyreslayers, at first I was a little bit disappointed that the only new model we got is the Auric Flamekeeper but the book really does make up for that, the lodges are super solid and encourage different army builds which is great to see as I want to build a large collection and the different lodges certainly encourages that.
The allegiance abilities all feel very narratively driven and look like they will add a lot of the tabletop with good players picking the right runes to activate in the right turns will be crucial and getting the most out of the Fierce Counter Attack ability will really help win games. The army itself I would put on the same level as the Maggotkin of Nurgle book which in short is good but not overpowered I think most players will play against Fyreslayers and be in for a good game in terms of the overall power of the book, they do have the tools to deal with things like Stormcast Stormdrake Guard but their heroes will be prime targets for shooting armies which will hurt the book.
The enhancements for the battletome are overall really good, there is a lot of variety in the builds that you can go for, making a Runefather on Magmadroth a combat beast is a big win but also making your priests and battle smiths great support pieces will really help your other units.
The only issue with the warscrolls are the Auric Hearthguard and the Molten Inferno the later of which is really bad, I feel that they needed a cool rule to make up for the innate 4+ to hit on their magma pikes and they do not have one giving extra rend if the target was close would make them dangerous up close, something like that I feel has been missed but not building a shooting army from this book is good for the game overall so I think its a win overall. Apart from that I think the warscrolls are really well written particularly the Magmadroths which were always not great will now see play on the tabletop.
The path to glory section I have to say is one of the most enjoyable and in my opinion well written sections of the battletome like I said I cannot wait to start writing narrative for regular paymasters and settling some grudges that i’m sure to create as I play games.
So to sum up if you are a fan of Fyreslayers this battletome is a must whether you play matched play or narrative games and as someone who loves duardin I will be starting a new army of Fyreslayers, thanks for reading.
And once again thank you to Games Workshop for providing Sprues and Brews with a free copy to review.