Battletome: Gloomspite Gitz 2023 – The Goonhammer Review

This review was completed using a copy of Battletome: Gloomspite Gitz given to us free by Games Workshop.

It’s here, possibly the most anticipated battletome of all time. Gloomspite Gitz has a reputation for being…a bit rough around the edges. Frequently one of the bottom if not the bottom army in the rankings. The army was littered with lots of wacky “Random” mechanics that even if rolled well still often failed to impress. That, combined with rampant keyword bingo meant that many units had to be shelved to achieve synergy with the rest of the army. Simply put, they needed a total overhaul to fix them. That time is now, does it achieve its goal?

Why Play Gloomspite Gitz?

There’s 2 major reasons people generally like the gitz: They like the underdogs, or they like the silliness (or both!). Gitz have been seen as the underdog army basically from Age of Sigmar’s inception. Their rules have always been a bit haphazard, weaker than equivalent units and subject to a lot of randomness. This does have a certain appeal to a kind of person who didn’t really care about winning and just wanted to cause some chaos on the table.

There also is a lot of draw in their lore. Gitz have always been good at that Age of Sigmar trope of being silly but actually terrifying if you stop and think about it for a bit. Hordes of drugged up goblins following a Jim Jones style cult leader who claims to predict when the moon (which is evil btw) is going to appear.

On the table, Gitz have a fair amount of versatility. While they tend to personify horde based gameplay, with many lists easily being able to clear 100 models (and they can come back after being wiped!) or you could run the more elite and hardy Troggs. Cave trolls that regenerate damage every turn. If you don’t put them down early they won’t stay down.

What’s in the Book?

  • Lore detailing the Gloomspite Gitz and their unique background and worship of the badmoon.
  • Updated Warscrolls for all the moonclan, spiders, squigs and Troggs in Age of Sigmar.
  • Spells, artefacts and command traits for the Gloomspite Gitz.
  • 5 new subfactions to choose from.
  • Path to Glory rules for your Gloomspite Gitz to concoct strange and esoteric potions to empower your clan.

5 Best Things About The New Book

  • Modernised Mayhem – The tome gets stuck in with AoS3 mechanics but keeps the core of the Fun mechanics that Gitz are known for.
  • Superior Squigs – There’s no doubt about it, squigs have been seriously pushed in the new tome with more attacks by default, easy ways to pick up yet more attacks and a smoothed out random movement. 
  • Toughened Troggoths – Troggs picked up some serious defensive upgrades, and Fellwaters have become an armour busting unit par excellence.
  • Improved Moon Mechanics – The bad moon isn’t going to be immediately flying off the board before you can use it anymore, and there are new ways to count your models as under its light even when they aren’t.
  • Relentless Recycling – If you like putting slain models back on the board, this is the army for you. 4+ rallies, multi-rallies and bringing back half of a destroyed unit are easily available. 

Gloomspite Heroes – Credit: RichyP

The Rules

Battle Traits

The Bad Moon returns as the army’s primary battle trait, and it functionally is basically like its original form, but there are very welcome changes to its reliability. The moon now starts in a large table quarter of your choosing and from the second battle round you start rolling to potentially move it. The moon now only moves on a 4+ roll and there’s no possibility of double moving. This is still fundamentally random, and it likely will eventually leave the battlefield in a good number of games, but it’s far less likely to move off the board early and you will also get to benefit from it in the first battle round. Many units also now have additional auras that allow units to act as if they’re under the Bad Moon, which makes it disappearing not nearly as unpleasant.

What the bad moon does is provide a benefit to any unit under its light, which means wholly within the large quarter that the moon is occupying, or the entire board if it’s in the centre. 

Moonclan units get Frothing Zealots for everyone’s favourite 4+ rally and Lunar Squigs still provides the excellent ability to run and charge for squigs. Spiderfang Venom upgrades the spider venom of your spiderfang units to trigger on an unmodified 5+, and Moonlit Hide is your trogg buff for +1 to save rolls. 

Veteran Gitz players will notice that three of the old moon buffs have been cut, and the extra CP and cast bonuses will be rough to lose, but we promise good news from here on in.

Gloomspite Gitz have also been handed out two unique heroic actions and two monstrous rampages, and it’s always great to see these recent battletomes really relax into AoS3’s mechanics. 

For heroic actions there’s Beckon the Loonatic Hordes which lets a Moonclan hero under the light of the moon immediately issue three Rally commands for zero CP expenditure. This has to target a different unit each time, but if you’ve got Moonclan units under the light of the moon then this is potentially an incredible amount of model regeneration for very little resource expenditure. A bit techier and less flashy is Wade and Smash which only the Troggboss gets to do. They have to be within 3” of an enemy unit to do it, but it lets them make a 6” move (which has to finish within 3” of an enemy unit, so no cheeky kinda-retreats) and then dish out some AoE mortal wounds. The trick here is this isn’t a pile-in, so there’s no requirement to keep the move near the closest enemy model. This can let you slide out of trouble, or slide into trouble. 

Of the two monstrous rampages, each is keyed to a specific kind of unit as you might expect. Ensnaring Webbing is for any flavour of Arachnarok and can only target enemy heroes that aren’t monsters. If you can beat that hero’s wounds characteristic on a dice roll, it can’t fight in the following phase. It’s a cute ability, and there’ll probably be a lot more of this type of unit floating around soon, but given most foot heroes have 5 or more wounds, the dice roll feels a little rough to rely on vs a roar or stomp. Giant Boing is Mangler Squig only and can only be used if it made a charge move in the same turn, it gets to make a 3d6” move that has to finish within 3” of an enemy. This move doesn’t include any bonus mortal wounds at the end so is technically strictly worse than the Ogor version of this otherwise identical ability, but the 3d6” move to jump screens and cause chaos is the real money of this ability anyway.

Command Traits

These are just split between Grots and Troggs, so your Spiderfang heroes might be feeling a bit short-changed. The standout trait here is probably Squig Whisperer which can only be taken by a hero with a squig mount and just hands out +1 to hit and wound for attacks made by the mount. Mangler Squigs helpfully have both their fang and ball and chain attacks tagged to the mount, so will be looking at 2s to hit and wound for the most part.

A more defensive option is the Loonboss only Fight Another Day which lets your general move 2d6” after it fights, meaning it’s effectively going to be another squig-based choice in actual use. Supa-nasty Venom pumps up the jam for your Spiderfang heroes and doubles the number of mortals done by their spider venom, this puts your Scuttleboss on 4 mortals per 6 which is a funny number of mortal wounds to be doing with that model. It’s also a pretty tasty 6 mortal wounds for the Arachnarok, but with only 4 attacks to trigger that it’s more nice to have. Wizards get to be Loon-touched for an extra cast whilst under the bad moon, which will end up being most of the time when you need it. 

The only truly generic trait for Grots is The Clammy Hand which lets you attempt to bring 2 units back with your Loonshrine providing your general is within 12” of it.

There’s three interesting, if not overwhelmingly strong, options for the Dankhold Troggboss. Firstly, Alpha Trogg provides two extra wounds and the Monster keyword, a small mercy for everyone who thought they should be monsters anyway. Trogg Smash is a once per battle 3” mortal wound bomb that triggers after the Troggboss fights. Most intriguing is Loonskin which lets you take one of the non-arachnacauldron Gitz endless spells for 0 points and lets your general attempt to cast it (but crucially, does not make them a wizard so any of those predatory spells will be wild).


There are a lot of artefacts to get through here as they’re more split up by keyword, so these are just a selection of the more interesting ones.

Moonclan wizards get a choice of the old faithful Moonface Momment which still does its old trick of handing an enemy unit within 12” -1 to save rolls in the combat phase, or the Staff of Sneaky Stealin’ which is a flat +1 to cast with an extra +1 to cast added every time the bearer unbinds a spell. These both seem like pretty damn good artefacts, and there’s a great choice for your murder-squig hero as well with Loonstone Teefcaps improving the rend of their mount’s fang attacks by 1 – there’s a pretty obvious combo here with the command trait to make the Loonboss on Mangler very scary.

Spiderfang heroes are blessed with three really quite nice artefacts. The Headdress of Many Eyes is a really strong defensive upgrade that makes it so only unmodified hit rolls of 5+ actually hit the bearer. The spider-wizards can grab a once per game +d6 to cast for a phase with Nibbla’s ‘Itty Ring, even a +1 to cast is a pretty decent artefact but the spike potential here is a lot. Speaking of spike potential, the Totem of the Spider God turns your hero into a mini Snatchaboss, with a 12” aura of +1 to the number of mortal wounds dealt by spider venom that triggers on a 6. Yes, you can get those mortal wound numbers from the command trait up to 5 and 7 if you want to.

Troggs have the Glowy Howzit, a mighty 4+ ward artefact that gets turned off if you roll a 1 after taking damage that isn’t negated, and the Pet Gribbly which gives +1 wound and then +1 to hit and wound if you roll a 1 after taking damage that isn’t negated. 

Madcap Shaman – Credit: RichyP


Gitz retain their two spell lores, though both have been trimmed back in standard 3rd edition style.

Moonclan wizards will probably gravitate towards Itchy Nuisance, an 18” range spell that hands out the strike-last effect to an enemy unit, simple but oh so effective. The Hand of Gork also returns completely unchanged as a long range teleport option. Squig Lure is a bit more specialist and is a tough sell before the previous two spells even in a Squig list, giving out re-roll charges to a single squig unit. 

Spiderfang wizards get a much more interesting mobility spell with Scuttling Terrors handing out a normal move in your hero phase to a Spiderfang unit. Spiders universally move 10”, this turns them from decently fast into very fast, and they can still act normally afterwards. Curse of da Spider God returns intact, making it so that unmodified hit and save rolls of 1 & 2 always fail for the target unit. Sneaky Distraction is also mostly the same but received a small buff, removing the ‘wholly’ requirement, so now any enemy unit slightly tagged in the 12” bubble from your caster will catch the -1 to hit.


Gitz were notorious for the fact that for a long time they didn’t have subfactions, until they did. The Battletome did not launch with any, but they’d eventually get some through White Dwarf, then reprinted in Broken Realms. They were…fine, in a ‘better than nothing’ sort of way.

Da King’s Gitz is a brand new subfaction for the army, and Skragrott comes with this keyword baked in. King’s Gitz get to reroll the dice for the Loonshrine’s moonclan lairs ability. This is a 4+ roll to get a dead unit back, so the reroll is big news for forcing this through. With the clammy hand giving you two bites at it and this, you could really get recycling on those units.

Badsnatchers are also new and provide a buff to your moonclan wizards, letting you reroll one of your casting dice if they’re within 9” of another moonclan wizard. Rerolls to casting is nice, but the moonclan lore isn’t quite good enough to make forcing it through a requirement, and the other options for subfaction are spicy enough to compete.

Jaws of Mork is still your squig subfaction and now hands any of your squig unit’s jaw attacks +1 attack on the turn they made a charge. Squigs want to bite things to death, so the application here is obviously good.

Glogg’s Megamob still upgrades your Trogg’s regeneration, but that’s now an automatic ability by default so this now triggers a Trogg’s regeneration ability after it fights. This isn’t locked to your turn, so a lot of potential extra healing and gives you some interesting play around activation order.

Grimscuttle is a total rewrite from the old White Dwarf rules and feels like it still doesn’t quite get there for what is one of the weaker standalone parts of the army. This now lets you deploy up to two spiderfang units off the board with each skitterstrand that you have already deployed in ambush from beyond – bringing all the units on together when the skitterstrand deploys onto the board. It’s certainly an interesting way to keep some of your units safe from early alpha strikes, but can leave you at the mercy of multiple 9” charges.


Just one, and it’s a weird one. Troggherd Heavies has a required Troggboss, one Dankhold Troggoth and no optional units. For this you get the Magnificent ability. This is actually OK, Dankholds are no longer totally embarrassing, and this is an easy battalion to fulfil for a decent reward. Why there is just one core battalion and only for Troggs is another question, but it’s what we’ve got.

Grand Strategies

Four, including the now ubiquitous ‘have ever battle tactic you complete be from your faction list’. Protect da Shrine! Could potentially see some use, requiring you to have no enemy models within 12” of the Loonshrine at the end of the game, and for it to have not been smashed to rubble. Superior Spell-flinger has a Tzeentchy flair and asks you to have two of the Gitz endless spells on the battlefield when the game ends. You don’t have as much control of that as you might like, but the Scuttletide at least can be quite difficult to dispel.

Finally there’s Chasing the Moon which requires your general to survive the battle, potentially much easier than it used to be if they’re a Galetian Champion, and to have been affected by the Light of the Bad Moon in 3 battle rounds.  

Battle Tactics

Mercifully, only two that are locked to a sub-keyword. Venomous Assault asks you to do 8 or more mortal wounds by Spiderfang units, which you’re not in total control of but is doable if you’re leaning hard into Spiderfang. You Ain’t So Big picks an enemy monster and has you kill it with Troggs, also fine and the situation should arise reasonably often to take advantage of it. 

More generically, Moonlight Raid requires you to flip an objective your opponent control and for all of your units contesting it to be under the light of the moon. Then in opposite-land, Stab ‘Em in the Dark is to kill a selected enemy unit with a Gitz unit not under the light of the moon. Just in case you didn’t have enough moon related battle tactics, Follow da Moon requires every friendly Gitz unit on the battlefield to be affected by the light of the moon, but you can’t score it in the first battle round.

Finally, Glory Grabbers picks an objective held by your opponent and is scored if you finish the turn controlling it with a unit you’ve brought back using the Loonshrine, a doable late game pick. These are basically all fine and par for the course with more recent 3rd edition tomes – no particular gimmes but everything is at least acceptably doable if you’ve built for it or the situation presents itself.

Loonboss on Cave Squig
Loonboss on Cave Squig


There are a mountain of warscrolls here, so this isn’t an exhaustive list of everything in the book and everything that’s changed.


Kragnos gets reprinted here and remains Kragnos. He loves to charge in nice and early with some other big scary melee threats to take advantage of his 3d6” charge aura, and the newly juiced up squigs should suit this purpose nicely if you’re Kragnos-inclined.

Skragrott is now keyworded to his own subfaction, but thankfully his buff ability is targeted at Gitz generically so this isn’t a big deal. Da Moon Onna Stick is now melee only as a weapon but its ability has completely changed and now Skragrott acts as a walking moon, with units wholly within 12” of him counting as being under the light of the moon which is an excellent utility ability. Otherwise he’s got a 4+ ward, gets to issue a command per turn for free, can choose to move the moon or not once per game and is a two-spell caster. His warscroll spell also happens to be incredible, a 24” range nuke that rolls a number of dice equal to the casting value and deals a mortal wound for each 3+. For just 160 points Skragrott feels really pushed and you’ll probably see it a lot.

For little Grot heroes the Loonboss now has a very unusual ability that modifies any all-out attack command issued by it to include mortal wounds on 6s to hit for Moonclan. Your various squig-based units are now all keyword Moonclan, so have fun with that (but don’t get too excited). The new Squigboss is a lean, mean, squig buffing machine and is probably the best of your options for doing that. It gets to pick a squig unit within 3” in your hero phase and pick a buff for them from +3” move, mortal wounds on 6s to hit to +1 attack with fangs. On top of these very nice buffs, it has a once per battle ability to give each squig herd unit within 12” in your hero phase a free move. For just 80 points if you’re running squigs, you’ll be taking this. 

The Loonboss on Mangler Squig has picked up two extra wounds and a much more reliable d6+10” move. The mount attacks are the same, but with a huge number of ways to improve them, and the moon-cutta of the Loonboss itself is now a real weapon. The old command ability is now a once per game 18” aura of +1 to wound for squigs which is: incredible.

Poor old Dankhold Troggboss is still tough to recommend outside of you trogg fanatics, and you do you, kings. It’s got the same disappointing attack profile with its wildly variable d6 damage. Do note that the vanilla dankhold now has the vastly superior d3+3 damage, so there’s hope that this is a typo on the boss that could get FAQd. Otherwise, the reroll command ability is predictably gone and now you get another modification to all-out attack for troggs, giving them +1 attack on top of the +1 to hit, which is a pretty big upgrade over its previous incarnation. If you’re running a decent number of troggs this ability alone will pay for itself in utility, and if this scroll does get its damage updated it’ll be a lot more reliable in combat itself.

Fans of spiders will be happy to see the Scuttleboss has gained a point of damage on each of its melee attacks, 2 wounds and 2” of movement for only a modest points bump up to 130. Their awful old command ability has also vanished in favour of an unusual but potentially useful once per game ability to retreat this and one other spiderfang unit at the end of the combat phase.

The arachnarok of the Webspinner Shaman also got 2 extra wounds, upgraded its fangs to 3 damage and now has a flat, non-degrading 10” move – this is a nice change for all of the big spiders. The warscroll spell here got a little bit worse as it’s +1 to the mortal wounds done by the target unit rather than double, but remember that doubling ability is now a command trait. Yes, you can make the Scuttleboss do 6 mortal wounds for every 6 to hit. 


Shootas and Stabbas return and both are improved on their baseline warscroll. Shootas in particular now come with more range and hit on a 4+ with their bows, and get an extra shot for having 10 or more models. Stabbas have their shield baked in for a base 5+ save and have lost their wound bonus in exchange for a really exciting ability to contest objectives from 9” away instead of 6”.

Another interesting change is that Squig Hoppers are now unconditional battleline. They’re still quite expensive for how fragile they can be, but are fast at a d6+10” move and their squig mount picked up an extra attack. With the squig and moonclan keywords, they’re eligible for a lot of buffs as well. 

In the realm of ‘battleline-if’ Boingrot Bounderz are unlocked by a moonclan general. They’re expensive at 140 for 5, but their lances are now rend -2 and damage 2 on the charge and they’re moonclan squigs. Also in the same boat for keywords and battleline-if is the Squig Herd which has that baked in extra gob attack and a d6+5” move. It’s not all great news for the herd, as it is no longer able to receive commands at all. The herders in the unit have totally changed, and now you roll a dice for each herder in your hero phase and return d3 slain squigs for each 2+. Even with the brutal command restriction (seriously, that Bravery 3 is going to hurt) for 120 points, this is a good unit for trading.

Both Fellwater Troggoths and Rockgut Troggoths are battleline with a troggboss general and both units now come with a base 4+ save (giving that +1 from the moon a lot more inherent power) and regeneration has changed from your hero phase to the start of every hero phase. It’s a lot more resilience for a tiny price increase. It’s worth pointing out that the fellwater noxious vomit ability is now absolutely buck wild, any unit damaged by it is at -1 save until your next hero phase and ignores positive modifiers to save rolls. This is a brutal one-two debuff that massively punishes expensive save stackers.

For those of you with a spiderfang general, Spider Riders can be battleline and certainly exist. A bit more exciting is the Arachnarok Spider with Spiderfang Warparty, giving the faction its sole ability to monster mash if you’re that way inclined. No longer relegated to being the worst big spider but it’s battleline I guess, the warparty now counts as 10 models for contesting objectives which is really good! 


Your other two flavours of big spider live here. The Skitterstrand didn’t get the +2 wounds memo which is maybe an error, but otherwise retains its ambush shenanigans. For 200 points we’re starting to get into the realm where damage output could be a problem for cost, but the x-factor here is the potential of having multiple units ambushing on with it. Another attempt has been made to make the Arachnarok Spider with Flinger relevant and the flinger itself has been totally rewritten. It’s now a normal shooting attack, with no rend and damage 1, that has a number of shots equal to the target unit up to a cap of 20. That’s pretty awful, but if you hit with any attacks then on a 2+ the target unit has its move characteristic halved until your next hero phase. Abilities like this have always seemed OK but never really made it into competitive play in any meaningful way, but that’s often because they were hampered with a terrible range rendering them not as useful. At a 36” range, this can start halving movement straight away, which will be big in some matchups. Enough to make the flinger competitively viable? It’s probably too expensive, really, but potentially worth playing around with.

The Alguzzler Gargant staggers back for some reason, its profile has been brought largely into line with its Sons of Behemat cousin save for the shooting attack vanishing and an unfortunate degrading movement. Otherwise, it’s 10 points cheaper and trades impact hits for a 3d6” charge. This trade is worth it, though it’s worth pointing out how little of a splash the Sons version has made and the aleguzzler lacks mighter makes rightier. Still, a super cheap monster if you need one now that spiders are pricier.


The Gobbapalooza has seen a total conceptual rewrite and blessedly no longer cripples your number of drops, just being a single unit where each model has a different ability – a bit like a very fancy Underworlds warband. There’s a few nice abilities here: you can improve the rend of a friendly unit, or give a hero +1 to hit and wound, but you can only pick one ability. It’s still a two-spell caster via the two single-cast models and the spell of Boggleye to stop an enemy unit within 12” being able to receive commands is interesting and useful.

Sneaky Snufflers have changed into a defensive buff piece. They have a 5+ ward now, and their looncap mushroom rule still prevents their movement but is now a 3+ dice roll (or 2+ under the light of the moon) to hand out a 5+ ward to another Gitz unit wholly within 12”. If you get a 6+, they pick up an extra attack, but this definitely changes what you’re bringing them for. The book is stuffed with ways to get extra attacks, so this opportunity for a fairly major defensive buff in a very squishy faction is good. Whether you can fit such an immobile unit into your army at 110 points now will depend on how much you want that ward. 

Loonsmasha Fanatics got cheaper but are otherwise the same, retaining their annoying inability to leap out of anything other than pure grot units. Sporesplatta Fanatics got a real usability boost with a new pre-game move ability that lets you get their line of sight blocking up and in front of your army. At their new 90 point price tag, these seem strong into the shooting meta we’re yet again stumbling into.

Rippa’s Snarlfangs were a common Destruction ally as a cheap, fast unit and have been brought back down to earth with a new 110 points tag, they got a bonus wound out of the deal but this might price them out of contention. The beautiful new Snarlfang Riders will make you all warm and fuzzy with their Gitmob keyword, but at 135 for 5 they’re a tricky sell. A unit here or there as a fast objective grabbing/screening piece will be fine, but they have real competition from the newly more reliable and harder hitting squigs.

Terrain & Endless Spells

The enormous Bad Moon Loonshrine has seen a bit of a change but keeps the core concept. It’s no longer a garrison, so is just impassable. It’s also lost its aura of battleshock immunity, which is going to hurt. Moonclan lairs is still its main ability and has been tidied up a lot, your general no longer matters and you can now select any destroyed Gloomspite Gitz unit that isn’t a hero and has fewer than 5 wounds, and that unit comes back with half of its models on a 4+. 

For endless spells Mork’s Mighty Mushroom is the same as ever but is now one hundred points, instantly moving into the realms of being quite nice as a free spell for a troggboss. Malevolent Moon is looking a lot more interesting, 80 points is up there with the more expensive spells but it does now have a 12” aura for counting your units as being under the light of the moon, and it also hits each enemy unit within 3” for mortal wounds after it moves. Scrapskuttle’s Arachnacauldron feels a bit lost, it’s handing out an extra cast and knowing the entire lore but this just isn’t a strong enough effect to have the downside of killing your own stuff, especially when arcane tome exists. Scuttletide feels like another winner, being able to be summoned from any terrain feature, throwing 8 dice with 5+ being mortals and also picking up a new ability to only be dispelled on a 9+ if it’s near an arachnarok, making it potentially difficult to remove for your opponent. 

Bringing It All Together

For veteran players, going from being a surprisingly magically powerful army to a fairly mediocre one will sting. But that old army was the worst in the game for most of its lifespan. In trade, just about everything got better on a base warscroll level, the keywords are easier to work with and the core moon mechanic will be better to play with.

Being able to throw upgrades onto the mount of your Loonboss on mangler is currently a totally unique mechanic, and we expect squigs to be popular. That being said Troggs are hugely improved, your basic grots got across the board improvements and if you like to live dangerously you can build a spider with absurd spike potential. For fans of mixing it up and taking a bit of everything, the support in this tome is much better for that, with the simplified Loonshrine.