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Hedonites of Slaanesh 2023 Battletome Review – Warhammer Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition

Their god is chained in the space between realms, imprisoned and tormented by Aelven gods. The Dark Prince’s offspring is at large in the Mortal Realms, spreading temptation and excess. And the Hedonites of Slaanesh charge across the battlefields, a riot of colour and a haze of perfume as they look for their dark master.

Today, the new Battletome for the Hedonites of Slaanesh is up for pre order! In this review we will be taking a look at the new book for 2023, seeing what has changed, what has been improved and checking out just how they are going to play on the battlefield.

Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us an early review copy to take a look at for this post! If you would like to support the site why not order your copy through out affiliate Element Games or check out our Patreon

We also have our review of the new Blades of Khorne Battletome up today too for those who worship the rival god!

Keep an eye on YouTube as our battle report featuring both Khorne and Slaanesh facing off will be live in the coming week!

So let’s sit back and see what delicious delights await us within Chaos Battletome Hedonites of Slaanesh!

Hedonites of Slaanesh (2023) Review

So what has changed for the Hedonites of Slaanesh? Well I think it is fair to say that the majority of the mechanics have had massive changes – some elements still exist, but now in a very different form. But don’t worry, this is a very good thing. While we previously had the feeling of torturing units but not killing them, now we act as temptation itself, which is massive fun on the battlefield! So yes, you no longer get depravity for harming units, and yes it costs more depravity to summon – but we get so much more cool stuff in exchange! Another big change is the fact that “exploding sixes” are now gone, but again this is changed up hand in hand with the new Depravity mechanics.

Building Your Army

One really helpful thing that has been added to both this and the Khorne book is a new section before the Allegiance Abilities titled “Building your army” – This is something that I’ve wanted for a long time and essentially shows you how you construct an army, first picking your battlepack (And spelling them out across Conquest of Generals, Pitched Battles and Path to Glory), then picking which subfaction you are using, how to select units, before finally detailing how battalions and enhancements are picked. This will already be common knowledge for established gamers, but for new players it makes using the book much easier!

Allegiance Abilities

Here’s where we see the biggest changes for Slaanesh!

The main one that will catch most people’s attention is Temptations of Slaanesh. This is now the primary way that we gain Depravity in the army, and it’s a really cool mechanic. At the start of each Battle Round the Slaanesh player gains 6 Temptation Dice – these are essentially six dice each showing a six on the face. When the enemy fails a save, hit or wound roll the Slaanesh player can offer them one of the dice.

If they accept, then their failed result is changed to a 6, however the Slaanesh player gains D6 depravity points!

If they decline then the temptation is refused (And I read this as in the dice is spent and cannot be used again to offer a different temptation) but the enemy player has to take D3 mortal wounds on that unit.

Any unoffered dice are then lost at the end of the batleround and replaced with 6 fresh ones.

This is such a cool mechanic that really has your opponent torn between taking the temptation and defiantly refusing. Both options are positive to the Slaanesh player – refuse a couple of temptations on a support hero and they could just get killed with the mortal wounds! On the other hand if you accept too many then you are very quickly fueling the depravity of the Slaanesh player. If all 6 temptations are taken then that could result in a possible 36 depravity a turn, enough to max out the Slaanesh buffs or summon a Keeper of Secrets every turn!

Some armies with decent healing abilities should be able to shake this off – Slyvaneth for example have enough passive healing that they can happily turn down dice, but some forces will struggle choosing which to do, which makes the ability even more thematic!

The second way we can gain Depravity is through the Euphoric Killers ability. At the start of the combat phase you select one of your units and an enemy unit within 1″, and for every wound or mortal wound caused during the combat you gain 1 depravity (And don’t worry, even if you kill the unit you get them!)

Used in conjunction with temptation dice this gives the Slaanesh player a really nice flow of depravity rather than having to peck at the entire enemy army like in the previous book – and theres also some battle tactics related to doing massive spikes of damage with this ability too!

But what exactly do we get with our depravity? Well, you can still summon, but given how much easier it is to gain depravity (in my practice games for this review I was getting 40+ depravity a game, and that’s with the opponent refusing a lot of dice) it now costs more to summon, and the list of summonable units has consolidated a little. All chariots now cost 24 to summon, you simply pick which one you want. It tops out at 36 depravity for a Keeper. You can now only summon 10 model units of Daemonettes too for 18 depravity (joint cheapest option), stopping you from dumping 30 on an objective. These costs may seem high, but I feel a skilled player will be able to maintain a steady flow of depravity!

In addition to summoning you also gain a number of buffs based on the cumulative total of depravity that you have

Once you hit 12 depravity you get an army wide -1 to hit Slaanesh units, which is an amazing way of keeping your fragile units alive and forcing the use of CP

24+ depravity makes every hit of 6 deal a mortal wound on top of any other damage (Essentially acting as a replacement of our exploding hits, but far more reliable)

Finally 36+ depravity nets you a 5+ ward save across your entire army!

Given how easy it is to generate the depravity, I’d be tempted to use the first few turns to get all the buffs up to your ward save (These are cumulative, so no downside to gaining more) and then use excess depravity after then to start summoning units.

As before we also get 3 different subfactions that you must pick from – and this time spells are now locked to certain subfactions too making the decision for which one to go for more difficult! Let’s check them out!


The Invaders see some awesome improvements in that EVERY one of your heroes now counts as a general, and there’s no longer any downside to having them close to each other. In addition, whenever you do a heroic action on a 2+ you can do the same action on another hero! They also get a heroic action that gives you a second command trait for a single turn too.

Speaking of Command traits we get 3:

Best of the Best increases their attacks by 1 when near a hero (friend or foe)

Glory Hog gives you a command point if a unit is destroyed in the combat phase

Hurler of Obscenities is a fun one that gives an enemy unit +1 to hit but reduces their save by 1!

We also get 3 artefacts:

The Rod of Misrule gives you a depravity point if you get 6 sixes to hit or wound each battleround

The Icon of Infinite Excess can be planted once per game, giving all Slaanesh units +1 attack much like the Khorne banner.

Finally the Beguiling Gem reduces an enemy heroes attacks by 1 if you beat their bravery on 3D6

And as mentioned higher up 3 spells are now locked to this faction!

Lash of Slaanesh is a really good spell to use against elite enemy units, you roll a dice for each model in the unit and you reduce their attack characteristic by 1 for each 5+ rolled – on a decent roll you should be able to put things like chosen down to 1 attack each!

Pavane of Slaanesh is similar however you roll a number of dice equal to their movement and reduce that by 1 for the rest of the game for each 5+

Finally Hysterical frenzy has you rolling a number of dice equal to their bravery, with each 6 dealing D3 mortal wounds.


Pretenders are now the Command Point faction – if your general is on the battlefield you get 3 CP rather than one, and can issue the same command to three different units a phase, and the 2nd and 3rd command are free! This is very good, especially combined with the extra Command Points. This also means they can give EVERY command to 3 different units, it isn’t limited to just on one command ability per turn!

Their command traits are pretty nice:

Strongest Alone gives the hero +1 to hit and wound if they are more than 6″ away from other Slaanesh units

Monarch of Lies stops commands from working within 6″ on a 5+ (And the CP is still lost)

and Strength of Godhood gives them +1 rend and damage on their weapons when they give a command to a different unit

They also have some excellent artifacts

The Crown of Dark Secrets is probably my favourite – you pick an enemy unit and while your hero is within 6″ all their attacks are reduced to 1!

The Scepter of Domination makes units within 3″ strike last on a roll of 5+

Finally the Breathtaker stops any abilities triggering that happen on death – so no fighting after death against this sword!

The Spells round out a pretty decent faction that I think will perform well:

Souldice Shards stops a unit from issuing or receiving commands if you beat their bravery on 2D6

Phantasmagoria is an amazing spell – you cast it on an enemy unit, and when that unit is selected to fight you can automatically retreat with a Slaanesh unit within 3″, allowing you to charge in, strike then retreat away when they fight back!

Born of Damnation is a depravity generator, you roll 6 D6 and gain one Depravity for each 4+ rolled. Handy to stick on a support caster for a little more depravity a turn


The Godseekers are all about movement and battlefield control. They get to reroll charges within 12″ of a hero and at the start of each Battleround get to move D3 units D6″ which can be really handy for getting onto objectives or screening units

For Command Traits we get the following:

Into the Fray gives the hero strikes first on the charge

Speed-chaser lets you roll a dice for each inch of the charge (So on an 8″ charge you roll 8 dice) and for each 4+ you deal a mortal wound

And Hunter Supreme stops enemy units from piling in and gives you +1 attack to your weapons when you charge.

The Artefacts here are probably the weakest of the 3 factions:

Cameo of the Dark Prince is a once per game ability that makes all your commands free for a turn (arguably you get more bang for your command points with the Pretenders)

Threnody Voicebox is a once per game ability that reduces attacks of enemy units within 6″ by 1 (Again, the Pretenders do this better with the crown!)

Finally the Girdle of the Realm Racer lets you fly and pile in 6″

While the artefacts are weak, the spells are really good:

Paths of the Dark Prince allows the caster to charge 3D6 (Which combined with your reroll and the Speed-chaser turns your hero into a mortal wound dealing rocket for running enemy heroes into the ground)

Progeny of Damnation is a pretty good spell that stops a friendly unit from triggering redeploy, perfect for getting important units that want to charge into position

Finally Slothful Stupor is a great spell that changes a targets movement to 3 and makes all their charge rolls become 3″

Grand Strategies

Slaanesh get some decent Grand Strategies that on the whole should be pretty easy to achieve

First up we get Coveted Riches – this is probably the hardest one, all enemy units with artefects must be killed and a unit of yours with an artefact must survive. I feel all the other choices here are better

Arch-Temper is a fun one which has you offer temptation dice to the same unit 6 times during the battle – just pick a unit that’s probably going to survive the entire battle and offer dice at every opportunity! Just remember you can only offer dice to the same unit once per phase, but that still gives you 20 phases (both players shooting and combat phases) to offer dice to them

The final two are both very similar but allows for building against different types of army

Selfish Desire is completed if you summon – deamons during the battle, which is good against armies that can heal through mortal wounds caused by refusing dice

Glutton for Depravity is my favourite, you complete it if you have 36 unspent depravity at the end of the battle. This gives you the best of both worlds, just try and maximse your temptation dice and pick the most suitable units for Euphoric Killers to try and hit 36 by the 3rd battleround, and then use any excess depravity for summoning

Battle Tactics

Slaanesh also get a great assortment of Battle Tactics that seem fairly achievable!

Death by a Thousand Cuts has you trying to cause wounds to a unit from 3 different units over the course of a turn

An Enrapturing Blur has you trying to kill an enemy hero with 0 wounds allocated before they make any attacks that turn. You have to kill them in the combat phase, but nothing stops you softening them up with magic or shooting first.

The Grand Feast has you generate 12 depravity with Euphoric Killers – many of your decent combat units can cause 12+ wounds a turn, especially once you have unlocked mortal wounds on hits of 6

Excessive Carnage has you killing a unit that is contesting an objective using Euphoric Killers – again, as above this is pretty straight forward, the big decision will be the ordering of these two battle tactics to maximise them

Realm Racers is a pretty easy one, you just have to make 3+ charges of at least 7+ and especially easy for Godseekers with their rerolls

Finally Depraved Unity needs you to contest an objective with both a daemon unit and a mortal unit – nice easy one for the first battle round


So onto the meat of the book, the Warscrolls! We’ve seen some pretty big changes here, so i’ll run through the major ones!

Keeper of Secrets – We see wounds increased to 16 and a lot of the random values for abilities are now fixed – For example Sinistrous Hand now heals 3 wounds from killing a model or 6 if it is a hero. Living Whip is now used to reduce the attacks characteristic of a target unit. The other big change is Dark Temptations – it no longer gives bonuses to hit or have a chance of killing the target, it is simply a choice between D3 mortal wounds or giving the Slaanesh player D3 depravity. We also see a fixed 4 attacks on the blade, it no longer degrades!

Shalaxi – She seems some great improvements here with Soulpiercer now having 2 attacks and doing D3+3 damage, making it a lot more reliable, it also always wounds on 2s too! She also has a built in -1 to hit her too! I really like her and with her now being able to dish out 22 damage in a combat I think she is a great target to fight twice from another Keeper.

Synessa – The first of the Slaanesh twins sees a couple of changes, firstly she now only has 2 attacks with her claws, but her ranged attack has been much improved, now dealing 6 mortal wounds if you roll under their save and 3 if you match their save. Still only casts 1 spell however

Dexcessa – Her sister keeps her previous warscroll, but both sisters also count as the general in addition to any other model

Syll’esske – We see some decent changes here, if the number of daemon units matches mortal units she now grants +1 to hit to all Slaanesh units within 18″, she also has a new spell that stops a unit from issuing or receiving commands. She also bounces back any saves of 6 as mortal wounds. Finally, like the twins she also sounds as the general

Contorted Epitome – This is a great unit now, units within 3″ cannot retreat or issue or receive commands, and her spell lets her pick D3 enemy units within 24″ to be +1 to wound

Infernal Enrapturess – She can’t dispell endless spells any more, but now also causes mortal wounds to any wizards that have a dice showing a 6 in their roll in addition to rolling doubles.

The Masque – She is amazing now! 6 attacks now hitting and wounding on 3s and dealing 2 damage, she is a power house – and that’s before her Staff of Masks now adding either 3 attacks to her profile or healing 3 wounds! Finally for maximum shenanigans, she can be placed anywhere on the board outside of 3″ of enemy units. I can see a lot of people including her in their lists!

Bladebringers and Chariots (all varieties) – These see increases to their damage on their main weapon, and also each grant a buff to nearby chariots, for example the Herald on Seeker Chariot grants +1 to the roll for Mutilating Damage for nearby chariots. Acquiescence has also changed to +1 to wound a target enemy unit.

Excess of Blades has changed to rolling a number of dice equal to the charge and every result that beats the save causes a mortal wound.

Viceleader – Now allows a unit of Daemonettes to fight on the same activation as her

Daemonettes – These have seen some tweaks, now hitting on 3s! The banners give them +1 to run, but the icon no longer returns models on a battleshock of 1, instead now allowing them to Rally on a 5+

Fiends – Fiends are now better on the whole, they only get 3 attacks with pincers, but they always do D3 damage now! Also they always are -1 to hit and wound regardless of number of models in the unit

Seekers – Just the one change here, they now gain +1 attack for the rest of the battle if hey kill an enemy with a wounds characteristic of 2 or more! They are also battleline once again!

Glutos Orscollion – The big guy has been simplified, the crew are gone and some of their abilities just work all the time now, there’s a few tweaks, he cant reroll charges any more and no longer gets bonuses to casting, but from battleround 4 onwards he can cast 3 spells rather than 2

Lord of Hubris – The new model (We also got sent a review copy by GW, painted images above!) This is an interesting unit that can grant a target enemy unit strike first but if they do they have to target him – in addition if any nearby Painbringers or Twinsouls are killed they get to immediately fight

Sigvald – Siggy gets a couple of updates, with Shardslash now doing flat 2 damage. He is still gambling on a long charge roll, but will sting when he manages to do it!

Lord of Pain – This guy gets an amazing improvement with Paragon of Pain – while he is contesting an objective all Slaanesh Mortals within 12″ get +1 to hit and wound! This is potentially a game winner if you can keep him dancing between objectives!

Shardspeaker – The Shardspeaker sees most of his abilites chance, Mist Lurkers now gives him a 4+ ward save on a succesful cast in addition to the Shadow Cloaked Claws, Twisted Mirror now reduces an enemy unit’s save by 1 and Reflection Eternal now reduces the attacks of the target unit (Giving Slaanesh many, many ways of dropping attacks!)

Blissbarb Archers – These have now been practicing their shooting, now hitting on 3s!

Myrmidesh Painbringers – These guys are now absolute tanks, they have a base 3+ save and get +1 to their save when in enemy territory or within 12″ of an objective you don’t control! They also now have 3 attacks each

Symbaresh Twinsouls – Lots of changes for these – the switching between different states has changed and instead they always have a 5+ ward while within 3″ of the enemy and also reduce enemy attacks by 1 while within 3″

Hellstriders – These have had big changes, extra attacks all round on both varieties. The claws now get an extra attack and damage if they are within 3″ of the enemy at the start of the charge phase, and the whips now stop enemy models with 1 or 2 wounds from contesting objectives!

Slickblade Seekers – No longer cause mortal wounds, but instead can now run and charge, and they also get +1 attack against units with 3 or less wounds

Blissbarb Seekers – Again no longer cause mortal wounds, but instead any unit wounded by them has -1 save for the rest of the turn

Slaangor Fiendbloods – These get the new profile from the Beasts of Chaos book, allowing them to move when wounded and first twice one per game!

Wheels of Excruciation – No changes

Mesmerising Mirror – Gaze not into it’s Depths has changed and is now a Depravity generator – you roll 6 dice for each unit within 6″ and for each roll of 6 the enemy has to take D3 mortal wounds or give you D3 depravity – chuck it into the middle of the enemy force for a nice steam of depravity points – it still has the rule where the enemy has to move closer or take mortal wounds too!

Dreadful Visage – Has a small update, it now gives the effected unit strikes last in addition to any damage

Fane of Slaanesh – this now gives you +1 to wound rather than hit when a sacrifice is made, and it clarifies you are allowed to sacrifice a one use artifact that has already been used too!

Path To Glory

Path to Glory is often overlooked, but we find it massive fun and a nice change from Matched Play – As with the other 3rd edition books we get some fun thematic content here, this time revolving around “impulse Dice”

Impulse Dice are a new mechanic where the Slaanesh player gets to place a dice showing a 1 next to any units that are within 3″ of Slaanesh units, if they already have a dice next to them then they increase the number showing on the dice by one. At the end of the battleshock you get a depravity for every unit showing a dice. The enemy can choose to spend those dice one per game by adding the number showing on the dice to their attacks characteristic for that turn – essentially its a gamble between giving away extra depravity every turn, and saving up the numbers for more attacks. If they never spend the dice they get renown equal to the dice number at the end of the game. Just like the temptation mechanic I really like this as a way of having the opponent decide their own fate.

Obsessions of Excess are a new option for your heroes, you get to pick one when creating your army, and these are abilities that cost 36 depravity to activate, but give you a bonus for the game – for example Obsession of Gluttony costs 36 to activate, but for the rest of the battle the summoning cost of deamons is halved. There are 6 of these, and they add something fun to use your depravity on in a narrative game.

We also get everything else you would expect from Path to Glory with unique veteran abilities, territories and quests – I want to shout out the upgraded 65-66 territory, which allows a Slaanesh army to start the game with 2D3 depravity!


Hedonites of Slaanesh are now a really fun army to play! Yes, a lot of things have changed, and you are going to have to adapt to the new rules, but the changes are so thematic and fun! Temptation dice are a brilliant psychological game with your opponent leading them to think is it that bad if they give away some depravity here and there, and before they know it you are stacking buffs or summoning in daemons!

The units are generally better performing too, with nice options for Daemon, Mortal or mixed armies and even lesser used units that are now valid again.

This is a great 3rd edition book, and i can see it performing well in experienced hands. For more casual players they are a little bit more forgiving with things such as army wide ward saves and hit mitigation, and a really thematic Path to Glory system

Chaos Battletome Hedonites of Slaanesh is up for pre order today and is released Saturday 18th March

Games Workshop sent Sprues & Brews a free copy for review purposes.

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