Broken Realms: Be’lakor Part 7 – Legion of the First Prince

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Finally, we’re at the end. Be’lakor is, as you might assume, the primary antagonist of the book. The First Daemon Prince and the only one to receive the blessing of all four gods at once, his power quickly spiraled out of control that none of the gods could control him and had to fight to restrain his power. Since then the gods have a mutual agreement to never grant a daemon prince all of their blessings at once and Be’lakor has been left with the shame of crowning new champions of Chaos (the current one being Archaon) but never holding that title himself. This does not mean Be’lakor isn’t a force to be reckoned with. He is still quite dangerous and the legions of daemons at his command mean almost endless hordes of raw Chaos energy that is almost impossible to truly defeat.

Easily the most exciting part of this book, let’s take a look.

Credit: Games Workshop

Be’lakor

Boy that’s a gorgeous new model isn’t it folks? Shown off ahead of the book which would be named after him, the model caught everyone’s attention as his old model was kind of…sad. Certainly not representative of what should be one of the most powerful beings in the setting. With a new model comes a new warscroll, was it worth it?

Major Changes

  • They’re now a Behemoth & Monster, which has implications on scoring for certain battleplan missions, as well as providing list building constraints if for whatever reason you were going heavy Behemoths.
  • Significant points hike. They’ll still fit into allies for other factions, but their utility as an auto include in other armies may be at an end, as due to their increased points cost you’ll want to maximise their value by taking advantage of Slaves to Darkness and Legion of the First Prince synergies.
  • Their combat profile has been significantly upgraded, taking it from an incidental number of attacks, to good enough that you actively want to get him into the thick of the action. they still won’t solo large units entirely by themself, but they provide a nice source of high rend damage for dealing with elite troops and heroes.
  • Boy got beef – going up to a whopping 14 wounds while retaining their ethereal 4+ save. They won’t benefit from look-out sir anymore, but that isn’t too much of a setback when your opponent will now have to invest significant resources in order to kill them.

Dark Master

This ability has been core to Be’lakor’s utility and power, taking them from an interesting if uninspiring Daemon Prince into a core piece of the meta game that gives Chaos players a good answer to deathstar units/mega casters. There have been changes but the good news is that the ability is still here, there’s just been a number of adjustments that will significantly change when and how you will use this once per game ability. Namely, you can pick an enemy unit in the enemy’s Hero phase instead of before the game (Which is far less cumbersome than writing a name). What is the impact of this exactly?

Pros

  • No longer need to select a unit pre-game: Instead you just pick a unit when you want the ability to kick in. This means that you can be tactically flexible, and make use of it in more creative ways. The most straightforward example is you could use it mid game to prevent a battleline unit getting onto an objective to flip control, which would be the difference between victory and defeat.
  • Now it also works to prevent prayers, dispelling Endless Spells and Command Abilities: This can have utility in matchups where one key command ability drives the whole engine. A good example of this would be Volturnos, who’s powerful CA contributes to incredibly effective turns when used in Idoneth Deepkin with Eel units.
  • With his new found stat profile, combat damage vs a 4+ armor did a little better than double on average! And most of that damage is coming from 2+ inch range.

Cons

  • Rather than rolling each time they want to do something, it’s done at the beginning of the phases. At first glance this is a rather straightforward change but there’s more to it under the surface that really changes the texture of this ability. For starters, it can be all or nothing now – One flubbed roll and Lord Kroak can do everything he wants for the phase. Likewise, one successful roll and everyone’s favorite frog will have to sit and sulk for the instead of getting to roll for each and every action.
  • Be’lakor must be alive in order to use this ability, whereas before they could die turn 1 and still make use of the ability at a later point. This means it becomes a greater risk to bank the ability for mid/late game, as your opponent could kill them before you ever get the chance to use them.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Legion of the First Prince

In February of 2020, the Campaign book Wrath of the Everchosen debuted the Legion of Chaos Ascendant and a subfaction called Legion of the First Prince alongside it. The Legion of the First Prince was always a bit messy because as the only subfaction it felt exceedingly redundant. There was little reason not to take it, since it didn’t have as many restrictions as subfactions usually do. There was no mandatory relic or trait, and you got a bonus spell out of it. The bonus Command Ability and trait only helped if you brought Be’lakor, but if you didn’t bring him it didn’t hurt you either.

Broken Realms: Be’lakor does a bit of bookkeeping and just combines them into one Allegiance called Legion of the First Prince. Legion of Chaos Ascendant no longer exists, and there are no subfactions, this replaces that entirely. A lot of the traits have remained mostly the same, the Infernal Realm Walkers trait still is a 6+ FNP, all the command traits and Artefacts are the same as well. There’s some great stuff here so it’s good that it stayed, with the Command Trait Ruinous Aura making the FNP a 5+, or Infernal Charge allowing all friendly units close to the General reroll charges. The artefacts are great too, Armour of the Pact lets you reroll all saves and Fourfold Blade deals D3 Mortal wounds if you roll a 5+ to hit!

This comes with some improvements to old abilities as well. First-Damned Prince now allows rerolls of hits for Be’lakor if your battleline units are within 18″ instead of a mere 8″. It’s a small change but the daemons won’t need to cling quite so tightly to their master for him to benefit from it, though sadly it only affects hits, not wounds now. Undying Legions now adds Furies to the summon table, which is a nice little buff.

There’s also a new faction trait in the form of Cursed Skies: A 3+ at the end of every battleshock phase lets return d3 Battleline/ or Horror daemon models to each unit you roll a 3+ for (Horrors only get 1… you know why)..

The one big draw back does sting a bit, the Spell Lores are for Legion of Chaos Ascendant are gone. The only spell lore is The Masters Command which grants a unit within 12″ a chance to fight before dying. Great, but the only spell?

Thoughts

Joek: They are now a V-CHONK-boi, like a French Bulldog who gained 10 more pounds. So cute. With their extra wounds and extra output with a (degradable) faster move, and the ability to make Furies when in their own legion… isn’t bad, as I said earlier. Probably not “your first choice” when looking at allies in the other Chaos armies. In Slave to Darkness he is now very expensive for an army that may have already been struggling on model count if you weren’t taking marauders. But they are a beatstick now and a little more survivable. Worth the 140ish points jump? Maybe. Probably have to playtest it a bit, but I think they are still good.

RagnarokAngel: I admit I thought he’d be a bit beefier than what we got. Be’lakor’s good, don’t get me wrong at all. This is a complete glow up from his old form which basically never got used. However, Age of Sigmar has not held back from big point characters who take up between a quarter to half your list alone. Given his scale I kind of thought he’d be a Katakros or Teclis. Maybe not an Archaon or Nagash, but close. He’s clocks in just shy of 400 pts which is still very impressive, and he looks like enough of a combat beast to be someone you need to plan around.

As for the Legion of the First Prince, which sees a fair amount of play, it’s mostly a side grade. A few small improvements, and consolidating Legion of Chaos Ascendant together was a smart move as it removes a lot of unneeded complexity. Losing spell lores sucks though considering how many Daemons are casters. It’s probably a win overall, but not a revolutionary one.

Next Up – Narrative Play

That ends our coverage for Broken Realms: Be’lakor for today, but that’s not the end of it. The book has an extensive section on a Narrative Play campaign and this week we’re going to keep the party going this week by walking you through it and the plot of Broken Realms, so stay tuned!

In the mean time if you have any comments or other things you’d like to see, drop us a line at contact@goonhammer.com or leave a comment below.

 

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