Last year, Warhammer 40k got 2 Black Library models based off of Space Marines launching with matching novels. This year AOS gets the Black Library treatment, with a Soulblight Gravelords Vampire Lord and a Kharadron Overlords (sort of) Admiral. Today, Games Workshop dropped the warscrolls for them, and they are compatible with matched play with Pitched Battle points! You can find these here.
Cado Ezechiar, The Hollow King
First is Cado, an exiled monarch who’s kingdom was destroyed by Chaos. Now he is a wanderer, rooting out cultists Chaos and attempting to free himself from the control of Nagash.
Cado is largely an upgrade over the generic Vampire Lord in several ways. He has an extra wound, more (and better) attacks that do Rend -2 Damage 2 attacks and his own unique abilities. Most notably The Court of the Lost which lets you do one of 3 abilities each turn. Not a spell, not a roll, it just happens:
- Spirit of the Steed gives Vampire Lords back their mount from 2nd edition, letting him move 14″. Unlike a generic Vampire Lord, he does not come with fly, which may be an issue and this will help get around that.
- Spirit of the Tutor is +1 to cast and unbinding. Nice, take these when you can get em. While the Lore of the Vampires is notoriously awful, his warscroll spell Retribution or Salvation is solid, dealing D3 damage to an enemy unit (Flat 3 to Chaos) or healing D3 on summonable units.
- Spirit of the Fallen is probably the best of the bunch. For every successful wound roll his attacks become mortal wounds. For someone who is already attacking at a baseline 3+/3+, you’re looking at about 4 wounds on average but can easily push that up to 8-10 with All Out Attack and Finest Hour. This pairs well with The Hunger which heals him equal to all damage dealt instead of just D3.
What are the downsides? There’s a few. Fitting his backstory, he cannot receive an allegiance, but his Court of the Lost sort of makes up for these short comings somewhat. As mentioned above he can’t fly, like a generic Vampire Lord can which means he can be screened out. He also doesn’t get Crimson Feast for the +1 attack, which is frequently the reason people take a Vampire Lord on Foot at all.
Is that worth it? I think so. Melee foot heroes get a bad rap in Sigmar, justifiably, but Cado here is pretty good considering he’s cheaper than a Vampire Lord by 5 points. He’s a pretty effective sidegrade, more of a scalpel to deal with carve out weak targets while the generic Vampire Lord is a buff piece.
Drekki Flynt, Captain of the Aelsling
After that, a new model for Kharadron Overlords, who probably could use a bit more to pad out their options. Drekki Flynt is a swashbuckling sky pirate who plunders the riches of the mortal realms. On the table he’s…odd, and doesnt really translate over as a clear analogue to a current hero. His weapon makes him feel like an admiral, but his abilities are very very different.
Drekki has a predetermined Fleet, Barak Mhornar. As of right now that’s….not great. Their artefact and command ability isn’t bad, but their traits are just awful. Like most heroes you don’t have to take it to use him, but two of his traits require it. Thankfully you can ignore those, Captain of the Aelsling lets you give a frigate Damage 2 boarding tools and Let Me Drive! lets the Aesling alone reroll runs and charges. Neither are super great.
His other abilities are kind of fun, Auxilary Skyhook does 3 Mortal wounds to a monster after fighting, and probably his best ability Light-fingered let’s him steal an artefact on a 3+ at the start of combat. He’s a decent fighter, his gun has a randomized number of shots but Rend -1 D2 is solid. I’d argue his axe doesn’t quite get there, as he’s only slightly better in melee than an Admiral. 2+ to wound is fine.
It’s odd to see him next to Cado, who is quite good. He’s just kinda…weird and doesn’t jive well with the army.
It’s nice to see AOS get the Black Library treatment. The new models are fun even if one is quite good and one is…not so good. They’re gorgeous models anyway and probably worth looking into to paint if nothing else.
If you have any questions or comments, comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.