Age of Sigmar Fourth Edition – Regiments of Renown

Goonhammer has received some of the launch content, via Games Workshop, to create this review and overview. Over the coming weeks, and with the benefit of having played dozens of games, we will be having faction experts provide insight into how they are building and running lists with these factions. For this overview we’re looking at what stands out for the faction, how much has changed, and how we would approach dealing with some of the common threats that are present in all wargames.

Goodbye allies! Gone are the days of adding in allied or coalition units to your army. If it’s not in your faction pack: You can’t take it! This is easily one of my favourite changes into fourth edition. I understand that this disgruntles some of the more narratively-minded players and for that I say: Just do it anyway. It’s just rules. If you and the people you play with want to do some allies or use some other units then just do it. As far as “legal” and “correct” list construction goes for pick up games, matched play, and so on, I’m happy to see allies go. In editions past they were mostly used to pick and choose one particularly busted unit or something incredibly cheap and mobile (Aetherwings) to fill a role an army would otherwise lack.

Now as with anything there are still exceptions. The exception in fourth edition is the Regiments of Renown system. Before getting too into them, let’s cover some basics:

  • Regiments of Renown include Gargant Mercenaries and factionless units like Gotrek.
  • Each Regiment is its own drop and can’t include any other units, not even auxiliary units.
  • You can only take a single Regiment of Renown in a list and Armies of Renown typically don’t allow any.

Of the 24 regiments on offer, some such as Big Grikk’s Kruleshots are on the cheap side and add in some support or elements your army might be lacking. Others, like some of the Death Regiments, take up a large chunk of your points and require you to make sure you’re building your list around a specific abilities they have.

Gotrek and Mega Gargants

First, let’s talk about Gotrek and mercenary mega gargants as these return mostly unchanged from the prior edition.

Gotrek has seen a significant drop in power. He’s come down from 480 to 360 points, about the cost of a Magmadroth for Fyreslayers, and has me scratching my head as to why he’s still that expensive. He only moves 4″ with a 5+ armour save and 3+ ward; he can’t be set up or removed from the table in any way (other than being killed the old fashioned way!) so can’t teleport to get anywhere quicker. While he does still have 8 wounds he does not reduce damage at all, so a couple lucky big hits will just kill him. On the offense he now has 8 attacks and instead of re-rolls to hit/wound just hits and wounds on a 2+ making it quicker and easier to roll through but with Crit (Mortals) he’s dealing flat 3 mortal damage when rolling a 6 to hit instead of cause mortals in addition to his damage. He does still attack a second time but only if you pay for it with a command point! Command points are an incredibly precious commodity this edition and it’s hard to see a player paying for this Warscroll and then spending upwards of half of their command points every battle round just so he attacks enough to be “worth it.” This likely removes him from the competitive game, which may have been intentional but we’ll have to see. He is, also, very specifically on a 32mm base for gaming in case there was any ambiguity.

Destruction players can continue to use any Mega Gargant as a mercenary, with Odo Godswallow exclusive to Destruction. The other mercenaries are named and affiliated to one grand alliance each: Big Drogg with Death, Bundo Whalebiter with Order, and One-Eyed Grunnock with Chaos. What has changed is that you’re using the base warscroll for a Kraken-eater with a special ability given as part of the regiment. Big Drogg still has smelly breath, Bundo Whalebiter gets additional attacks for his cunning, One-eyed Grunnock shaking the earth.

Anyone who purchased a mega specifically to ally in doesn’t have to worry about losing the use of a high priced model. It will cost you about a quarter of your list with Big Drogg Fort-Kicker at 480, Odo Godswallow and Bundo Whalebiter for 450, and One-eyed Grunnock costing 440 points.

Destruction Regiments

Destruction has access to all four megas in addition to Big Grikk’s Kruleshots (340 points) and Braggit’s Bottle-snatchaz (490 points).

Big Grikk’s Kruleshots have two units of boltboyz and a Beast-skewer Killabow. These units have changed slightly, with the Killabow getting a second slot and the top end range of the Boltboyz being reduced to 18 inches. The biggest downgrade is that all the weapons are Crit (Autowound) instead of Crit (Mortal). The regiment ability, Skewer It Again, adds 1 to the attacks characteristic of the boltboyz shots that target a monster that the Killbow has damaged this turn. Spending a little over 15% of your army on an “anti-monster” unit that can also shoot other things is a pretty good choice if the meta dictates it. A lot of units that weren’t monsters in the old edition have become monsters so your range of targets has improved. This army slots in really well with a Mega Gargant army, Ironjawz that want shooting, or a Gloomspite Gitz army.

Braggit’s Bottle-snatchaz takes about a quarter of your points and gives you a weird assortment of Gitz units. The star of the show is the Rabble-Rowza who allows a friendly beast or monster to run and charge but must get closer to the unit. Making this easier, you can deploy the entire regiment in deepstrike so you can easily move towards the Rabble-Rowza with something big and scary. Gobbapalooza gets access to the Sneaky Distraction a great -1 to hit spell, and can of course summon a Manifestation (even giving an otherwise wizardless army an entire lore). Even better, the squig herd and squig hoppers can be enhanced by the Gobbapalooza for additional rend. Sons of Behemat players should take a long hard look at this faction because they allow you a chance to summon manifestations, provide a deepstrike option, and help you run and charge for the cost of a Mega Gargant. Even better, having a few extra units allows you to deal with manifestations or smaller units with squig herd or squig hoppers without wasting an entire turn of megas. Outside of Sons, a lot of the abilities can be found in other factions: Kruleboyz have dirty tricks to move around the board, Ogors have a spell for monsters, and Ironjawz have plenty of movement tricks already.

The Blacktalons. Credit: SRM

Order Regiments

Marchettus: Order has a nice selection of regiments with most of them having a specifically defined role and all of them being cheap enough to consider without bending your list into a weird shape. 

Fjori’s Flamebeaers: A bunch non-reinforced Fyreslayer units sure does feel weird to any Fyreslayer player. You get a Grimhold Exile, 5 Auric Hearthguard, 5 Hearthguard Berzerkers with Poleaxes (the good one), and 10 Vulkite Berzerkers with paired Fyresteel weapons. All that clocks in at an even 500 points, making it the most expensive Order regiment. The Hearthguard Berzerkers will want to stay near the Grimhold for their better ward, Auric Hearthguard can be anywhere blasting away and slowing enemy units, while Vulkites just hang out on objectives, trying to make a charge; I do wish these were the shield version. Enemy monsters can’t make Rampages against any of these units and subtract 10 from their control score when in combat range, making it a nice little monster hunting band.

A lot of control score modification seems menial or unimportant but bringing a monster down to counting as just 1 in most cases will let any unit here take it away from them, assuming they survive combat…

Elthwin’s Thorns: At 260 points this is one of the more economical regiments and provides two flying units that are efficient screens, good objective grabbers, and can serve as disruptors for major pieces in your opponents army. The first regiment ability relies on the Arch-Revenant picking a visible enemy unit within 12″ in your shooting phase. Until the start of your next turn you subtract, up to 6, the amount of damage points allocated to the target by the Gossamid Archers. A second ability allows both units, if they are within each others combat range and not combat, to teleport on a 3+ wholly within 3″ of a terrain feature and more than 9″ from all enemy units. This ability is helpful in setting up Reclaim the Realms or getting in range for the first ability.

Overall this regiment doesn’t require you to completely change your gameplan and adds two flying and teleporting units. If you were able to reduce the charge roll with shooting in your opponent’s turn, or teleport in their shooting phase, this would become extremely spicy; but as it stands Order players have an affordable option for fast moving units.

Norgrimm’s Rune Throng: At 350 points you get access to three units that have strong warscroll synergy that want to sit on points and a 3+ save. The runelord gives an extra unbind, provides a warscroll prayer that buffs the melee weapons of the Longbeards, and another prayer 18″ that inflicts mortal damage and can cause enemy units to ignore positive modifiers to save rolls. Additionally, once per battle the runelord can pick an objective and units from this regiment get a 5+ ward for the rest of the battle.

Much like the Elthwin’s Thorns above, I like that this regiment is filling a specific role for a list that otherwise might lack a strong objective holder. The 3+ save is going to be extremely helpful for some Order armies that don’t have a good anvil and the price point is still manageable where you don’t need to build your entire army around them. The downside, as with many dwarves, is the 4″ move.

The Blacktalons: Your favorite Sigmaries cost 320 points and have a single ability: If Neave is in combat with an enemy hero she can use fight twice once per battle and gets Strike-Last on the second attack. Neave gets run and charge/shoot and can, instead of choosing the standard fight action, pick a fight that removes her to the Blacktalons on a 3+. Lorai, the last member of the crew, is a one cast wizard.

I’ll let KO players debate if including a 320 point regiment is worth it for a single cast and the ability to bring the manifestation lore they’ve chosen on the table. The Blacktalons feel like an elite unit, the anti-hero nature of Neave’s abilities lets her punch above her weight, and hopefully teleport out lets her strike and fade against even the most powerful god heros like Nagash, King Brodd, and Kragos.

Saviours of Cinderfall: For 230 points this seems like a pretty good package that can fight wizards and manifestations and be a nuisance. The entire regiment is put into deepstrike via a warscroll ability and the regiment allows you to pick a unit to get +1 wound against. The second ability with the regiment gives an extra bonus to save and ward when the entire regiment is contesting the same objective. The profile for Toll’s Companions isn’t that great but everyone has anti-wizard.

This package is a little weird amalgamation of abilities that typically doesn’t translate well to being allied in. However, the cost is so low for a number of bodies to get a 4+ ward on an objective that that ability alone might make it worthwhile.

Ogroid Myrmidon. Credit: SRM

Chaos Regiments

Brand’s Oathbound: Clocking in at 250 points these guys are the cheapest Chaos option, taking up just an eighth of your army list. You get Gunnar, Singri, and the Oathsworn Kin; the box of characters from Brand’s Black Library novel. These are pretty self-contained and don’t really rely on Slaves to Darkness abilities to work, and so they work well here. The added ability is simple: If Gunnar kills a hero then at the end of the turn each unit in the regiment heals 5 health and gets +1 attack for the rest of the battle; that’s on top of him giving them a 4+ ward from his own warscroll. It’s cool but maybe not the most likely to actually provide you with value; he rolls 10 attacks with Crit (Mortal) but only damage 1 and can fight a second time with Strikes-Last but at only 6 health and 5+ save, so he will likely just die before he gets to.

Hargax’s Pit-beasts: An Ogroid Myrmidon, Fomoroid Crusher, and Mindstealer Sphiranx that gets to fight one after another in combat. Mostly that’ll be for the Ogroid and Fomoroid fighting back-to-back to put a decent dent into an enemy unit before they get to fight back. That said, it costs you 460 points and Chaos armies don’t typically lack for damage within their own books, and usually there they have better synergies…this is cool but might be hard to justify taking.

Phulgoth’s Shudderhood: Some Blightkings, a pair of Blightlords, and Harbinger of Decay for 540 points. While the units are wholly within 9″ of the Harbinger they’re -1 to be hit (so the Harbinger is always -1 to be hit) and everything heals 1 every hero phase. Harbingers have a fun warscroll ability to slow a few enemy units down once per game and a prayer that can massively reduce enemy’s control score in the late game. If you’re lacking in tough, resilient, units to hunker down on a point, this might be worth looking at.

The Coven of Thryx: This one’s pretty involved. You get a Magister, 10 Pink Horrors, 1 Burning Sigil of Tzeentch, 1 Tome of Eyes, and 1 Daemonic Simulacram. That’s right, manifestations and all only for 280 points. During deployment you can set up one of those manifestations next to the Magister without having to summon it. At the end of every turn pick an enemy unit that suffered damage from the Bolt of Tzeentch spell, roll a D3, on a 2+ if suffers mortal damage equal to roll. That spell is a 6 cast, unlimited, 18″ range 2+ D3 mortal damage blast. Between both wizards and the ability that’s up to 9 mortal damage in a turn on top of having the manifestations to hand. It definitely feels like a steal. Only the Magister can summon the manifestations, however, and you can only ever have one out at a time; still, it’s another whole set of manifestations at a small cost.

Ushoran by Mildnorman

Death Regiments

This is the longest section by far thanks to the last couple Dawnbringers books adding a regiment for each of the Mortarchs of Nagash, so let’s start with those — they’re all very expensive.

The Summerking’s Entourage: Ushoran, 10 Cryptguard, 3 Morbheg Knights for 700 points. Ushoran gets a 7 cast spell to give a unit in the regiment +2″ move and +1 to wound rolls; it’s an Unlimited spell which seems…unnecessary? You can’t cast it with anyone else. As a passive effect, the units get +1 attack while around Ushoran which pairs nicely with that spell to make the Cryptugard slap with four attacks each turning off commands from units they damage until your next turn. Ushoran also gets to bring back one of the two units at half strength after they’ve been killed; it’s a once per game effect so it’s either two more knights or five more cryptguard. I know which I’d rather have.

The Liche’s Hand: Arkhan the Black, 2 Morghast Archai, and 2 Morghast Harbingers. Arkhan gets an 8 cast spell that he can cast any number of times (up to three, since he has a power level of 3) hitting an enemy unit within 18″ rolling one dice per model in the unit dealing a mortal damage on 5+. A solid horde clearer. He also gains an ability to roll an extra dice to banish manifestations, making it incredibly reliable to pick them up. The Morghast gain nothing by being here and the whole package is very expensive at 830 points!

Scions of the Necropolis: Katakros and two units of 3 Immortis Guard. At the end of every turn each unit in the regiment picks a unit they’re in combat range of and subtracts 2D6 from their control score. That’s pretty swingy but could easily mean the difference between you taking control of a point or not. Unfortunately Katakros just isn’t what he used to be and won’t affect many units in your army either, making it a tough pick at 810 points.

The Sorrowmourn Choir: Olynder, 10 Dreadscythe Harridans, and two units of 4 Banshees each all for 620 points making it the cheapest one so far and still very expensive. Olynder gets a 7 cast spell that she can cast multiple times to teleport a unit in her regiment. The units also retain their ability to ignore all modifiers to saves (cause they’re ghosts) and have a once per turn ability for one unit to turn commands off an enemy unit within 3″ for the rest of the turn, done during the charge phase so can turn off any All Out Defence and Power Through; turning off commands is always a powerful ability to have up your sleeve. Teleports are much rarer in armies now and are incredibly helpful for board control; this one might see some lists.

Neferata’s Royal Echelon: Neferata, 5 Black Knights, and two units of 10 Skeletons. You get a 7 cast spell Neferata can use once per turn, cast on a 7, targeting a friendly unit in the regiment; whenever it uses a Charge ability until your next turn you get to roll a number of dice equal to the charge roll and each 4+ is a point of mortal damage. So you can use that with both Charge and Countercharge, if you can line it up right. Black Knights dealing a few mortal wounds before attacking isn’t bad by any means; they’re the unit most likely to get use out of the spell. Each of your hero phases you get to pick a unit in your regiment and enemy units can’t make ward saves against their attacks. Once per battle Neferata can pick an enemy unit contesting the same objective as her and roll a dice; on a 2-5 they subtract 10 from their control score and on a 6 have a maximum control score of 1 instead. That can be brutal…or it can do nothing if you roll a 1. The game has mostly moved away from once per game effects that can fail and do nothing, so it’s a little annoying to see it rear its head here, but this isn’t the main reason you take this regiment anyway, just a nice bonus. Costing 760 points, it’s pricey but being able to turn off wards and dishing out mortals is great too so it might see some play.

The Sternieste Garrison: Manfred, 10 Grave Guard, and two units of 3 Fell Bats coming in at an even 700 points. Manfred gets a 7 cast spell to pick 1 enemy unit within 12″ and for each other enemy unit within combat range of it that original unit suffers 1 mortal damage; so if you pick a large reinforced unit in the middle of a castle of enemy units it could be a fair few mortals but is probably too short ranged to really come up, unless you’re using the following teleport. The real reason you’re taking this regiment is because once per turn in your own hero phase you get to teleport any unit in it more than 6″ away from enemy units; they also gain +1 attack when doing so until the end of the turn! That’s an easy 6″ charge into something with a bunch of extra attacks.

Jerrion’s Delegation: The first of the two non-Mortarch based regiments but still expensive at 520 points. You do get a lot at least: Marrowscroll Herald, 20 Ghouls, 3 Crypt Flayers, and 3 Crypt Horrors.

Veremord’s Shamblers: A nice cheap little regiment at 240 points with just a corpse car and 20 zombies. Simple. Enemy units subtract 1 from ward rolls within 12″ of the cart and the cart does some zombie revival end of every turn based on number of enemy infantry, cavalry, or beasts that had slain models in the same turn. Wards seem pretty prevalent in this edition so making them worse, or even removing 6+ wards, is just great.

Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant. Credit: Fowler

Convenient Allies

Well, not allies, but the closest thing we have now. There’s probably a handful of regiments we’ll see floating around tables but in general the way armies are constructed in fourth edition you seldom want to add an additional drop to gain units that often don’t interact with the rest of your army in any way. Mannfred and Olynders for teleporting are just great for board control and the Kruleboyz add some ranged damage to armies that wouldn’t otherwise have any; adding something like that is the best case for a regiment of renown.

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