Looking for some warmer weather where you can let it all out? Overwhelmed by those sprawling armies that have dozens of options? Have a fondness for painting red and orange? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions – or if you just really like Dwarfs – then come on down to Aqshy and join Grimnir’s horde because the Fyreslayers just might be the faction for you.
Who Are Fyreslayers?
During the Age of Myth, the duardin god Grimnir clashed with the Magmadroth god-beast Vulcatrix which ended in mutual destruction. When Grimnir died his form shattered into fragments which were scattered across the mortal realms and laid rest in veins of gold, infusing the spirit of the dead god with the raw material called ur-gold. The Runemasters of the Fyreslayers are able to craft this special gold into powerful runes which are then hammered into the bodies of the Fyreslayers, giving them power from their dead god. The first of the Fyreslayers made their home in Aqshy, realm of fire, in the depths of volcanoes, carving out their magmaholds where they live and craft runes to be as close to their god as possible. Over time though many lodges have formed in different realms, taking on different appearances but all still with the same goal in mind.They believe that if they can gather up all of the pieces of Grimnir’s spirit in ur-gold then their god will be reborn. Unfortunately, to most ur-gold is just gold, and has been mined and used by many races in the mortal realms without knowing what it was and because of this the Fyreslayers often act as axes-for-hire for payment for large sums of gold, in hopes that any of what they receive is ur-gold. Much like the dwarfs and slayers of the Old World the Fyreslayers are sticklers for oaths taken, never breaking them and always fulfilling them so they can receive payment.
One of the initial factions that got attention in Age of Sigmar, Fyreslayers are a purely Dwarf (Duardin) faction. Whereas Cities of Sigmar has a melting pot approach, allowing you to mix Duardin in with other races, and Kharadron Overlords like their steampunk ships, Fyreslayers are a more classic “pure” Duardin faction. It’s also an extremely straightforward faction, with only a handful of units available to you. It only really has a few tricks and they’re basically all about just hitting things but they hit things really well.
- Melee Combat: One of the strongest armies in the combat phase
- Tough: Your saves are mediocre but you have access to a lot of wards, surprisingly hard to kill for naked dwarfs.
- Heroes: A solid repertoire of Heroes to choose from
- Mounts: Powerful mount options, Magmadroths do solid damage and can take a fair licking before they go own.
- Berzerkers: Berzerkers for days. They’re tough and strong.
- Lack of unit options: You have a decent selection of heroes but only 3 regular units. Ok technically 4 but that is being very generous.
- Poor ranged game: While all of your models have throwing axes they require you get pretty close first. They’re more to soften up the enemy before charging in and to throw at enemies already in combat.
- Magic: No magic, and by extension, limited ability/options to unbind opponent’s spells. (But do have Prayers).
The army does one thing and one thing only: combat. And it does it extremely well, being able to attack before your opponent if they’ve been charged, being able to take a thrashing and still hit back hard, and powerful runes that make you hit even harder in combat too. Shooting is their downfall, both by not having much of their own but also by facing it due to their reliability on support heroes which only have 5-6 wounds normally. There are some interesting ally options to take as well between Irondrakes, numerous Stormcast units, and of course Gotrek (who is, actually, not a very competitive option).
At the beginning of your Hero phase you can activate one of the 6 Ur-Gold runes. You roll a dice after choosing which Rune you will activate, and on a 1-5 the Rune goes off as normal. If you get a 6 you get an enhanced version of the ability in addition to the normal one. The effect is army wide (even on mounts) and this is where a lot of your strength really comes from. You’re only able to activate each one once per game so be mindful of the order you choose them in but also don’t wait around too long either! These also last until your next hero phase, so if you’re going first in the turn be mindful of a possible double-turn against you, you don’t want to be stuck for 3 rounds of combat on a rune that’s not boosting your melee attacks.
There’s also a unique Heroic Action which is available to any Fyreslayer Hero. Each Fyreslayer Hero can only use this once per game. When used the hero gains the Enhanced version of the active rune.
Rune of Fury: Add 1 to hit rolls for melee weapons Enhanced: Add +1 to attack characteristics for melee weapons
Rune of Searing Heat: On an unmodified wound roll of 6 deal 1 mortal wound in addition to normal damage – this is with melee weapons AND ranged weapons so don’t forget your throwing axes! Enhanced: Roll a die for each enemy unit within 3″ of a Fyreslayer unit. On a 2+ deal a mortal wound to that unit
Rune of Awakened Steel: increased -1 rend to all Fyreslayer melee weapons Enhanced: Increase the Rend by a further -1
Rune of Fiery Determination: 6+ ward for all units Enhanced: Fyreslayer Heroes instead gain a 5+ ward – especially nice on magmadroths
Rune of Relentless Zeal: Add 2″ to your Movement characteristic Enhanced: Add 2 to all charge rolls
Rune of Farsight: Add +1 to hit rolls for Throwing Axes. Enhanced: Add +1 to wound rolls for Throwing Axes. You have 6 Runes and 5 rounds so there’s never not a reason to use one. Which one to use in each situation is going to vary based on the game state but here are some general rules: 1. Rune of Relentless Zeal is generally your best opener. Most games, if your opponent outdrops you they will make you go first because they know you’re going to footslog it. This will be the point in the game where you probably will need to move the furthest so might as well open up with it to get yourself into position. 2. Rune of Awakened Steel, Rune of Fury and Rune of Searing Heat are generally your best pics on turns 2-4. You can pop it on turn 1 if you go second or are alpha charged and you figure you’re going to get into combat immediately. All 3 are solid, though Rune of Fury is pretty meh unless you get the Enhanced version. Extra rend is more consisted in most cases but if your opponent has a lot of save stacking (e.g. a net save of 1+ or better) then use the Searing Heat for mortal wounds. Worth noting that HGB with Poleaxes can do up to 3 mortals per model if they get 6s to hit and to wound. 3.Rune of Fiery Determination is best when you need to play defensive. If something big is coming your way and you just need to hold the point, a 6+ Ward won’t do all the work but it’ll save enough stuff to keep your boys fighting. 4.Rune of Farsight is mostly bad, but if you have the opportunity to set up the An Ignoble Death battle tactic you might as well pop this to make sure it gets in.
A command ability that can be issued to a friendly unit of Vulkite Berzerkers, Auric Hearthguard, or Hearthguard Berzerkers at the start of the enemy combat phase. The unit receiving the order has to be within 3” of an enemy unit that made a charge move this turn and also not within 3” of an enemy unit which did not charge this turn. The unit gains the strike-first ability, so they get to attack first in most instances, but each unit can only receive this order once per battle.
It’s very limiting in how it can be used and once per game per unit is also an unfortunate stipulation but it’s still very powerful to be able to attack first when taking the charge from something big and scary like Kragnos or a Mawkrusha.
Each of your Grimwrath Berzerkers gets one of the following oaths, chosen at the start of the battle. If you have more than 1 Grimwrath Berzerker then you cannot choose the same oath more than once.
- “I will cut down the Priests of Grimnir’s enemies!” – If attacking a Priest, that is not a Fyreslayer, add 1 to all hit and wound rolls as well as damage inflicted. There aren’t really many Priests in the game outside of Fyreslayers so doesn’t come up often at all. D
- “I will guard them with my life!” – The Grimwrath can be chosen to be a Runefather or Runeson’s retinue instead of a unit of Hearthguard (more on that below). A unit of Hearthguard Berzerkers will often just be much better for this role though and you probably won’t be lacking in them. D
- “I will let nothing stand in my way!” – The Berzerker can run and charge in the same turn, and can re-roll run and charge rolls. This is my favourite to take because it means you can actually get into combat with your Grimwrath, very reliably, and have a hero keeping pace with a unit of Hearthguard Berzerkers that have been given Ember Storm prayer. A
- “I will prove Grimnir’s might to our allies!” – Add 1 to all hit and wound rolls while within 12” of an allied unit. If you’re running any allies and have more than 1 Grimwrath this could be a good pick for the second one. C
- “I will not be stopped!” – The Grimwrath has a ward of 6+ which is improved to 5+ while within 3” of an enemy. You have a few ways of gaining wards on your heroes but having a 5+ while staring down serious melee threats can be great. B
- “I will strike hard and true in Grimnir’s name!” – When attacking, each unmodified hit of 6 deals 1 mortal wound in addition to normal damage. Even attacking twice in one round of combat you’re likely only getting 1 mortal wound out of this. C
Lodges are the Fyreslayers’ subfactions and you have 4 to choose from. As with all 3rd edition books what they do is very simple giving just 1 effect for your army which can change how you want to field your units but generally is a minor buff.
All Vulkite Berzerkers gain +1 to hit and +1 to wound rolls on the turn that they make a charge. This is not the go-to unit in Fyreslayers and are not what’s causing the majority of damage either. That said, a unit of Vulkites dual wielding axes have 3 attacks each on the charge, with this they hit and wound on a 2+ and can gain rend or mortal wounds through the runes. If hordes of Vulkites are your thing then this is the lodge for you. C
Easily the go-to lodge if you’re not running multiple Magmadroths because it gives all of your foot heroes +1 wound characteristic and allows you to take 2 more artefacts of power on non-mounted heroes. There are a lot of very good artefacts to take in this book and army so the combination of making your heroes that much tougher and gaining access to more relics is fantastic. A
The other choice for horde-players because you halve the number of models that flee from battleshock. You’re going to be wanting to save back a command point at least anyways though to auto-pass morale and now maybe even taking the Triumph to auto pass, but if you’re fielding multiple units of 20-30 Vulkites for whatever reason then maybe you’ll want to make sure less run away.
It also unlocks Auric Hearthguard as battleline, which is cool, but it’s not really a unit you’re wanting to take multiple of and having a Priest General does this as well. D
For you monster lovers this is the Magmadroth lodge. You get Runesons on Magmadroths as Battleline in your army (meaning they’re no longer Behemoths so will count as “troops” instead of “monsters” for core battalions) and all magmadroths gain +2 wounds. Lastly, up to 3 of them can have a mount trait (but each must be different). Having all of these monsters go from 16 to 18 wounds is really nice, especially with the multiple ways of giving them wards, at least for a couple turns in the game. If you’re running 3 Magmadroths or more then you’ll want to lean into this. B+
Fyreslayers have a fair number of different Heroes for such a small model line so the relics are quite varied. They’re broken up in 4 tables: Two tables with 6 artefacts each and two with 3 each, giving you a total of 18. Generally speaking, some of your best options are going to be the ones that disrupt the magic phase. Since you have no Wizards of your own you have limited ability to counter opponent’s spell casting (Assuming they have some) so artefacts are usually where players you’ll want to attempt to shore up those weaknesses.
Heirlooms of the Lodge (Runeson/Runefather)
- Magnetised Runes – Add 2 to the bearer’s charge rolls. There’s a few ways of boosting charge moves anyways and you’re not really wanting your Runefather or Runeson to be charging off away from their retinue. Could be fun on a Runeson on Magmadroth though. C
- Axe of Grimnar – The bearer’s melee weapon gains an extra point of rend and +1 damage. This is a fantastic buff on either a Runefather or Runeson making their weapon naturally -2 rend with more damage from each attack. A
- The Fiery Ring – Once per battle during your own shooting phase you can use this artefact: pick an enemy within 6” and on a 2+ it suffers D6 mortal wounds. You really have to line this up to make use of it and even then it has a chance of doing nothing or just very little. It can inflict the last wound or two on something big and scary but that’s a bit niche to take an artefact for. D
- Master Rune of Unbreakable Resolve – Once per game at the start of any phase the bearer can activate this rune to gain a 3+ ward until the end of that phase. It might not seem like much at first, but this will make any hero incredibly hard to take down. On your General it can help keep your command points coming as well as other buffs depending on other things like command trait (ie Leader of the Duardrazhal). A
Artefacts of the Forge-Temple (Runemaster/Smiters)
- Ash-Cloud Rune – Once per game your Priest can summon a cloud of soot and ash at the start of an enemy Hero phase. All units wholly within 12” are not visible to the caster of any spells. If you can get your Priest up amongst enemy units it means that they are not visible for buffing spells either, which could make a difference; more practically it keeps your units invisible to damage dealing spells for a turn. B-
- Volatile Brazier – Allows the Priest to re-roll the incantation roll for summoning an Invocation and extends its range by double. Summoning a Fyrewall or Molten Infernoth, reliably, turn 1 deep in enemy lines can actually make a surprising difference. B
- Droth-helm – Add 1 to wound rolls for Magmadroth Claw and Horn attacks that are wholly within 12” of the bearer. On a Magmadroth Runesmiter it means a constant buff for at least himself but also for any other Magmadroths that stick close by. B
Relics of the Fyrd (any Fyreslayer Hero)
- The Nulsidian Icon – Each time a Fyreslayer unit wholly within 12″ of the bearer is affected by a spell or endless spell, roll a die. On a 4+ ignore the spell. This is amazing for an army that has no wizards with which to deny spells with. Basically an auto-take. A
- Draught of Magmalt Ale – Once per battle the bearer can chug this down in order to double the attack characteristics of the bearer’s melee weapons for one round. Not bad actually, even once per game you can make this count if you need to kill an enemy Hero or clear out a big crowd. B
- The Daemon Slayer – Choose 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons and all wounds caused by that weapon cannot be negated with wards. Good choice on a Grimwrath that’s spitting out (usually) 8 attacks each hero phase, and maybe one of the best tools in the game for dealing with Gotrek, as funny as that is. B
These are split between your Runefathers/Runesons and your Priests depending which is your general.
Fury of the Fyreslayers – Friendly Fyreslayers wholly within 18” add 1 to charge rolls. Very simple but very effective, especially for Vulkites which also add 1 to charges from their horns. On a Magmadroth General this aura becomes massive, able to potentially cover most of your army.. Also very useful for your units coming in from reserve alongside Runesmiters, needing to roll an 8 (or a 7 for Vulkites) is far more likely than a 9 for their charge roll the turn they’re set up. A
Blood of the Berzerker – Once per battle only. During the combat phase after the general has fought you can say it’s “going berzerk”. If you do then it gains the strike-last ability but can be activated and fought with a second time that phase. This goes without needing to be said, but this is only really an option on a general on magamdroth, since it affects the whole unit. Attacking with an entire magmadroth twice is actually pretty big and can deal a lot of damage in one turn. C (B+ on a Magmadroth)
Spirit of Grimnir – When you activate your Ur-Gold Rune if your general is on the table then you gain the enhanced effect on a 5+ instead of just a 6. This increases your chances slightly and makes it likely that you’ll get at least 1 enhanced rune in a 5 turn game, but it’s a relatively small buff with all the chance in the world to just roll 1’s every turn instead. C+
Leader of the Duardrazhal – While your general is on the table all Duardin allies are treated as having the Fyreslayer keyword for the purposes of the Ur-Gold Runes battle trait. This does not allow non-Fyreslayer heroes to use the new heroic action, so keep that in mind. Allowing Hammerers, Irondraks, Longbeards, Runelords, and all of the Kharadron Overlords to benefit from the runes is actually huge. The best though is probably Irondrakes being able to deal mortal wounds on 6’s to wound with the Rune of Searing Heat but any of these units gaining the benefit of the other runes is fantastic. What this also means is that Gotrek Gurnisson will be benefiting from your runes, which is huge; extra move early game and extra rend/bonus to hit/mortal wounds later on is nuts on him. B
Ash-beard – Gives you a second prayer from the Zharrgrim Blessings list instead of just 1, but you can’t chant any more. It’s decent for Runesmiter’s that want to take Curse as well as a Fyreslayer prayer but Runemasters already know all of them now anyways. D
Master Priest – You get to activate an Ur-Gold Rune that you’ve already activated once per game. This is incredible actually, it allows your units to have extra rend for longer, or another turn of mortal wound output, or if you really need it some extra movement late-game. A+
Avatar of Vulcatrix – When the general dies you get to set up a Molten Infernoth on the table (that doesn’t cost you points) within 6” and apply its rule which means it will move 2D6” and cause mortal wounds to non-Fyreslayer units. If you already had one set up on the table though instead of setting up a second you just activate that one immediately, move it and dish out some mortals. This is fun but something that relies on your general dying to take effect is not something you want to be aiming for. D
Magmadroths are your mounts that most characters have the option to ride. You always get one of these traits for free (and they are not mutually exclusive with a Command Trait) and one additional for each battalion, unless you’re playing a Lofnir lodge, in which case every Magmadroth gets one. Similar to relics, you cannot take a trait more than once and you cannot put multiple traits on the same model. Since the first trait is free it’s common to take at least one Magmadroth, as they’re pretty good beasts.
Flame-scale Youngblood – When this Magmadroth uses the Stomp monstrous action the unit on the receiving end suffers 3 additional mortal wounds, if it suffered any. Dealing 4-6 mortal wounds reliably before attacking is fantastic and can really clear through both hordes and tougher elite units. B
Lava-tongue Adult – When using the Roaring Fyrestream ranged attack any unit that’s less than 5 models counts as 5 models. Means you can use it a little more against single-model units and still get some wounds through, but you’re not really choosing this one unless you’re taking Lofnir and getting every trait. C
Coal-heart Ancient – Subtracs 1 from the damage of all melee weapons targeting the mount. I’m not sure if this is better or worse than worsening rend it used to give, against high volume 1 damage attacks it is clearly worse but against monsters and elite units of damage 2+ weapons it makes your magmadroth much more survivable considering you’ll likely often have a ward to take after as well. A+
Let’s be clear. These are prayers, not spells! Spells are for aelves, who should never be trusted. In many ways prayers are better than spells since they can’t be outright stopped. Similar to spells, you cannot chant the same prayer multiple times per turn.
Each on of your Priests knows either one of the spells below, or one of the three from the Core rulebook (Guidance, Curse, or Heal). Runemaster automatically know all of the following prayers so should choose one of the Core Book ones. To chant a prayer you roll 1D6 and it has to match or beat the chant value (shown in brackets next to each prayer below).
- Prayer of Ash (4) – Choose a unit wholly within 18” and all attacks made against it until your next hero phase are at -1 to wound. It makes one of your units much tougher to take out since there are very few ways to gain positive modifiers on wound rolls. B
- Ember Storm (3) – One Vulkite or Hearthguard Berzerker unit wholly within 18” can run and still charge this turn. Less useful on the Hearthguard Berzerkers usually since you want to keep them wholly within 9” of a hero, but it does offer a lot of movement options to the army. A
- Prayer of Grimnir’s Fury (3) – Pick a non-mounted Fyreslayer hero within 12” to fight immediately in the hero phase if within 3” of an enemy unit. It’s one of very few ways this book has of dealing wounds in the Hero phase so is worth considering if you have Runesons (on foot) or Grimwrath Berzerkers to make good use of it. Having it in your back pocket with a Runemaster is great though since it’s so situational to actually choose. C
- Wrath of Vulcatrix (3) – Pick a Magmadroth within 12” and until your next hero phase you use its top profile when attacking. Probably best on a Runesmiter on droth since it can just choose itself making sure it’s hitting as hard as possible. Combined with the command you can use from the General’s Handbook you could have 2 wounded droths fighting at top profile come combat phase. C
These are endless spells but endlessly cooler. A priest can summon one in place of chanting a prayer for that turn and it can’t be stopped, even by enemy priests. They can be removed in enemy hero phases by their priests but those aren’t exactly the most common heroes in the game. It also means that they’re not chanting a buffing prayer for themselves, which is nice to stop. They can however just remove themselves if you roll too well, but that’s different for each so will cover it separately. You can summon them back though later on if you’d like.
Zharrgron Flame-spitter (3) – This is probably the better one for damage. At 50 points you summon in a stationary flame turret within 6” and each friendly shooting phase if you have a priest within 6” then you can shoot with it. Pick an enemy within 24” of the invocation and roll 12 dice, for each 6 deal 1 mortal wound. If that unit has 10-19 models in the unit when targeted then it’s mortals on a 5+ and if they’re 20+ in the unit then you need 4+ for mortals. If however you roll 4 or more 6’s then after it’s deal its damage remove it from the board. B+
Runic Fyrewall (3) – It’s a magmic wall just like you’d expect. At 40 points you get a wall within 18” of the caster that units cannot move through unless they have the Fly or Magmadroth keyword and gives a Ward to one Fyreslayer unit wholly within 12” at the start of each phase by rolling a dice: on a 1-5 the unit gains a 6+ ward but on a 6 instead gains a 4+ ward for that phase and then the invocation is removed from the table at the end of the phase. B
Molten Infernoth (4) – A big lava beast that looks really cool and storms around dealing mortal wounds. You summon it wholly within 12” of the caster and it moves 2D6” in a direction of your choice. Roll a dice for each unit that is within 3” where it ends its move and roll 12 dice for each, for each 6 rolled that unit suffers a mortal wound. If you roll a double for its move then each 6 instead deals D3 mortal wounds but then the invocation is removed. Unlike Endless Spells it only moves and deals mortal wounds during your own hero phases which does hamper it a bit, but hitting everything near it’s large base does mean you’ll often tag at least 2 units each time it does. I actually usually use this to snipe out enemy foot heroes, consistently dealing 2 mortal wounds each of my turns with the potential to spike more can remove them surprisingly fast. A
Other Matched Play Rules
When building a Matched Play army you have to choose a Grand Strategy for your army to follow, either one from the battlepack that you’re using for games, or one of the below. Battle Tactics are chosen during the game, at the start of each of your Hero phases as an objective that you aim to complete the same turn. You have a choice of the ones from the battlepack you’re playing or one of the army-specific ones. The “battlepack” will often be the version of the General’s Handbook you’re playing out of for matched play, or it could be a narrative one such as the Thondia book.
At the end of the battle if there is 1 Auric Runefather (mounted or not) and also 1 or more Auric Runesons (mounted or not) on the battlefield then you score it. Strangely due to the wording it doesn’t work if you have 2 Auric Runefathers on the table? I don’t think you’re really running to take more than 1 anyways, but amusing for sure.
Defend the Lodge
At the end of the battle you complete it if there are no enemy units wholly within your territory. This one is actually really tricky, just about every army is a lot faster and many have ways of teleporting as well. If you were able to choose these at each game maybe it’d see some use, but since it’s part of list writing it’s a little too tricky to really settle on.
Oath-takers and Skull-breakers
At the end of the battle you score this if you completed at least 4 battle tactics and each of the battle tactics you completed were from the “Oaths of Battle” list (see below). The Fyreslayer battle-tactics are actually really solid and not difficult to score, compared to what we’ve seen so far with faction matched play rules. This is cool, I like this. Is it good? It might be a solid pick depending on the grand strategies you have access to from the battlepack.
Masters of the Forge
At the end of the battle you complete this if you have any Invocations under your control on the battlefield. If you have a Fyrewall and don’t have slayer units near it though it could work out. Combined with the Priest trait to spit out a free Molten Infernoth could be very amusing. Since most armies don’t have a Priest and so can’t get rid of your invocations it’s worth considering if you have any.
These are called Oaths of Battle which is frankly just very cool. They’re also pretty good overall too, even though some may be more niche than others just knowing you have them up your sleeve to use can be great.
Settle a Grudge
This is by far the coolest. Each time a friendly unit is destroyed by wounds caused by an attack you can take note of which enemy unit destroyed it. When you pick this battle tactic choose one of those enemy units on the battlefield and kill it. The only funny thing about wording here is that the enemy unit as to kill your unit with an “attack” not from a spell, invocation, ability, etc so being stomped to death by an enemy monster won’t count.
Pick an enemy monster and pick a friendly Hero (doesn’t have to be a Fyreslayer Hero, just any friendly Hero, so…Gotrek for example). You score this if that chosen Hero is what lays the killing blow on that enemy Monster this turn with any attack (so, as above, not via abilities etc). Pretty easy to do in a lot of cases of weakened monsters.
An Honourable Death
Pick a friendly hero (again, doesn’t have to be a Fyreslayer). You complete the tactic if that Hero is dead but if it also killed any enemy models in the same turn. So, kill a goblin with your Runesmiter that’s on one wound left and surrounded and then die. Very thematic for the army. Careful in how you set this up, because your opponent will try and attack other units if it can so try and charge the hero in alone.
Seize by Force
When you choose this one you have to currently control less objectives than your opponent. To score it you need to control more objectives than them. In games where there are only 3 objectives this can be pretty easy to score depending on how everything is set up. Definitely good to keep in mind!
An Ignominious Death
Pick an enemy hero and kill it with throwing axes. That’s it and it’s hilarious. Considering throwing axes can deal mortal wounds one turn of the game and are actually not terrible any more either this could actually work on a Hero with only a wound or two left. More situational than the rest but could come up when you have nothing else to choose. Protip: bring a priest with Curse before throwing your axes to possibly do some mortals.
Fyreslayers have a really lean roster, which is really only inflated by most of the heroes being allowed a mount option. This does make collecting them quite easy. Across the board all of the units on foot have a 4” move; Magmadroths start at 12” and degrade with wounds suffered. All of the units have throwing axes which hit and wound on a 4+ and all of the heroes have the same but also have a -1 rend, which is a nice little extra.
A solid hero choice and generally pretty necessary as your general to unlock Hearthguard Berzerkers as Battleline. He’s got 4 attacks needing 3+ to hit and wound at rend -1 and damage 3 so when the attacks land they can cleave through units and smaller heroes. You can also choose a friendly Vulkite Berzerker, Hearthguard Berzerker, or Auric Hearthguard unit at the start of the game to be the Runefather’s retinue. While the unit is within 3” of the Runefather then after rolling for the Runefather’s armour save but instead of rolling for a Ward then you can roll a dice; on a 3+ the wound is transferred to the retinue unit which is still allowed make its ward roll as after. This means that a unit of Hearthguard Berzerkers is going to be your best pick for this since they get a 4+ ward for having a hero wholly within 9” anyway. The retinue unit can also attack immediately after the Runefather fights in the combat phase so long as they’re nearby, giving you a few more attacks before the enemy hits back.
Having any number of Runefathers in your army lets you use a once-per-game ability with any one of them giving your units wholly within 12” +1 attack with all melee weapons for one combat phase. Used at the right time it can be absolutely devastating.
Auric Runefather on Magmadroth
Like the Runefather above, he has the same 4 attacks at Damage 3 and the same once per game aura for +1 attack, but that’s where the similarities end.
The mounted version doesn’t get the retinue rule, so no shrugging wounds off to a nearby unit, which is fair enough when you’re sitting on top of a massive lava beast. Makes it hard for your bodyguard to get in the way of being attacked last-minute.
What you get instead though is a 12” move, 16 wounds, and 2 more solid melee profiles which are all multiple damage, as well as a shooting attack that can clear away some chaff screens in the way of your charge. It is a costly upgrade though coming in at a hefty 360 points, but can put on a lot of hurt and can charge what it wants much more easily. If you made him your warlord with the Fury of the Fyreslayers Warlord trait (And there’s a good chance you did) this will drastically expand the bubble of units it affects, giving you more flexibility to move them around.
A really good hero, especially at the cheap cost of 80 points. Runesons have the same retinue ability as Runefathers so you’ll want to attach them to a unit of Hearthguard Berzerkers. You get the choice between an ancestral war-axe or wyrmslayer javelins. The better option 9 times out of 10 is going to be the war-axe though. At 5 attacks hitting/wounding on 3+ and rend -1 damage 2 it’s just a very solid weapon. The javelin only has 3 attacks, needs 4+ to hit but is rend -2 and damage D3; it has the added bonus of being a ranged weapon at 12” on 4+ hit 3+ wound rend -2 damage D3 as well, but only 1 attack.
The other reason you’ll want the war-axe is because you want to be rolling more dice when fighting monsters. On hit rolls of 6, all Runeson attacks against Monsters deal a number of mortal wounds equal to the damage of the attack. That happens instead of needing to roll to wound/save etc and is a nice added bonus in case you find yourself within 3” of one. The attacks do also benefit any throwing weapons like the throwing axes but if you’ve gone for the javelin then you have potential for some mortal wounds on monsters at a short throwing distance.
Auric Runeson on a Magmadroth
This guy is the same as the one on foot, but instead rides a giant flaming lizard. The Magmadroth profile is identical to the Runefathers’ and loses the retinue rule too. Melee attacks against Monsters still deal mortal wounds equal to damage on 6’s to hit but doesn’t work for the Magmadroth attacks. With how fast they can move and their number of multi-damage attacks it can make sense to want to take a handful and just ram them at your opponent’s lines early on. They are just a bit squishy with a 4+ save and no built-in Ward.
At 320 points this is your cheapest monster in the book. In a Lofnir list they are Battleline instead of Leaders so for Core Battalions will count as Troop instead of Commander which is important to keep in mind and usually works out as a benefit not a detriment; they can then go in Bounty Hunters or give you a one-drop army easier.
The first Priest on the list. He gets to know 1 prayer from the Fyreslayer list or one of the 3 core prayers from the core rules (Curse, Guidance, Heal) and can take additional through enhancements as normal. His warscroll prayer (value 3) gives a Fyreslayer unit wholly within 12” +1 to all wound rolls until your next hero phase. A Runesmiter has either a forge key which extends that range to 18” or a runic iron which gives you re-rolls to chanting his warscroll prayer (and only his warscroll prayer). The re-roll is probably the better pick most of the time for the reliability.
This is also the army’s only source of reserves: magmic tunnelling. When you would deploy a Runesmiter you can deploy it off to the side of the table instead. When you would deploy another Fyreslayer unit any time after then they can join this Runesmiter off table. Importantly these are still 2 separate drops and so doesn’t decrease your number of drops. At the end of your own movement phase you can have these units arrive, which they have to do near each other, more than 9” away from all enemies which is standard. It gives you objective-control threat arriving mid-game with an otherwise slow army so is very powerful. A unit of Vulkites with twin axes is one of the better picks since the horn gives them +1” charge range so only need to roll an 8 for the charge. Another fun pick could be a Runeson on Magmadroth with Magnetised Runes artefact to only need a 7 to charge, even better if in range of your General giving off an aura of +1” charge so only need to roll a 6!
Auric Runesmiter on a Magmadroth
Once this hero decides to get on top of a mount it loses the tunnelling ability to instead be a Priest on a monster. One of the best prayers in the game is Curse, however its short 9” range is often a problem since you usually don’t want your Priests too close to combat. Not so much the case when they’re riding giant magmic monstrosities! Curse and Heal are both great picks for a Magamdroth priest, to be able to get some extra mortal wound output from your army or to be able to heal itself and other heroes while they’re stuck in in combat.
That said, this hero does have the same +1 to wound warscroll prayer as well which is still not bad by any means and will be even closer to the fighting to make use of it. I would recommend the runic iron over the key for certain on this guy for the re-roll since range will be much less of an issue.
As the master priest of their lodge the Runemaster knows all of the Zharrgrim Prayers natively meaning they get to pick one of the 3 core book ones to know as their standard enhancement. Having that kind of toolkit in your back pocket is incredibly powerful, to be able to make use of the more niche prayers like Grimnir’s Fury if you finally happen to have a foot hero within 3” of an enemy and piling in and attacking in the hero phase will actually make a big difference. This is great since his warscroll prayer is forgettable: targeting a piece of terrain and rolling dice for enemy models on or near it, causing wounds on 6’s. It’s not good.
When a Runemaster is within 3” of your General in your own hero phase you get an extra command point. That means if your Runemaster is your general you’ll always have that extra command point! This is a command point heavy army too so you’ll definitely get use out of them.
Despite what you might think this guy is not another Priest. He is a Totem at least though so orders can be made at 18″ which is situationally ok but doesn’t hand out any special kind of order to really make special use of it. What he does do though is empower your units after some Fyreslayers near him die. You place a dice next to him with the 1 at the beginning of the game and for each Fyreslayer that dies within 12″ tick the count up by 1. At the start of a combat phase if that dice is on a 6 then you can choose an ability to give to a Vulkite or Hearthguard unit nearby until end of phase:
- Gain a 6+ ward
- When a model dies it piles in and fights first (but only if it hasn’t already fought)
- Immediately attempt a charge
- Add 1 to the damage of melee weapons
Gaining a 6+ ward is the worst of the bunch here. With all the ways this army has of handing out wards it’s by far the least useful. Fighting on death is nice but niche in that you have to use that if you know for certain you’re not going to be attacking with that unit first, if that’s the case then it could be nice but remember Vulkites can do this already once per game on their own. Charging in at the start of the combat phase is pretty great actually, you can tie up some units that didn’t want to be in combat or otherwise get in the way. The real winner overall though is +1 damage. Putting Vulkites up to damage 2 on their attacks makes them an actual threat and boosting Hearthguard Berzerkers up to damage 3 on broadaxes will just melt whatever they’re touching.
At 90 points it’s a pretty cheap hero with a decent melee profile that can help keep your army hitting hard as you take casualties. Consider running alongside a large block of Vulkite Berzerkers with a Battlesmith rallying them back to keep their damage high.
This banner-carrying dwarf does two things for your army: aura of ward and easier rally. All units wholly within 12” of him receive a 6+ ward which once-per-game can be improved to 5+ until your next hero phase. It doesn’t really help your Hearthguard Berzerkers but giving a Ward to your Magmadroths, foot heroes, and potential horde of Vulkite Berzerkers is nice to have. Consider maybe tunnelling one up with a Runesmiter if you have multiple Magmadroths to get that ward aura in range, easily.
The second portion is the rally. If the Battlesmith issues Rally to a Fyreslayer unit you get 1 model back for each 4+ you roll instead of each 6. This is huge and considering Battlesmiths have the Totem keyword very easy to have in range as well. It’s worth remembering too that Rally can be issued in your opponent’s hero phase, meaning you can retreat in your own turn and then rally back in your opponent’s if you don’t have a double-turn.
The real beat-stick of the army. At only 105 points you get a 6 wound hero with 4+ save with one of the Grimwrath Oaths mentioned above under the Allegiance Abilities. He hits with 4 attacks on 3+ to hit/wound and Rend -2 Damage 2. That’s the best baseline rend on a foot hero! What’s interesting is that this hero is not a Leader when you’re building your list so will count as an Other option and a “troop” for Core Battalions.
Taking the Oath for run+charge and the Magmalt Ale artefact is my favourite combination. He hits combat early and reliably, uses the heroic action for Finest Hour for +1 to wound rolls, chugs the ale and issues All Out Attack to himself. That’s going to be 16 attacks (or 18 if in range of Runefather aura) hitting on 2+ and wounding on 2+ damage 2. If you can use it in the same turn you’ve used Awakened Steel they’ll even be -3 rend to make sure the attacks stick. Crazy.
The other non-Leader hero of the army. This guy is cheaper than a Grimwrath Berzerker at 85 points and realistically, other than for rule-of-cool, the only time you’re taking one instead of a Grimwrath is if you don’t have enough points left in your list. For his Oath you choose 1 enemy unit at the start of the game to “swear to destroy” and if at the end of the combat phase he is within 3″ of that enemy unit he will get to pile in and attack a second time. Similarly if within 3″ of this oathbound unit and the Doomseeker is destroyed he will pile in and fight before being removed.
What is slightly more interesting though is how much stronger he gets as he suffers wounds. Both of his melee profiles have 3 attacks each, hitting and wounding on 3+ and damage 1 and one of them has Rend -1. If the Doomseeker as 1 wound allocated to it however it adds 1 to the damage of both melee weapons; if 2 or more wounds are allocated then add 2 to both melee weapons instead. If you can line it up right to be fighting the unit that he’s oathbound to kill, and has 2+ wounds allocated he has the potential to dish out upwards of 36 damage across one round of combat. It’s just not easy to set up unfortunately and half of those attacks are without rend.
Fjul-Grimnar and the Chosen Axes
This is the Underworlds Warband of the army and like most Underworlds Warbands it is just not good. They come in at 180 points for both Fjul-Grimnir (a Runefather Lite) and a unit of 3 Fyreslayers dubbed The Chosen Axes. Fjul-Grimnir has the same melee profile as a Runefather, gets The Chosen Axes as his Royal Retinue (and can’t choose another unit) but doesn’t have the once-per-game aura for +1 attack, making him less useful than a normal Runefather. The Chosen Axes meanwhile are 2 Vulkite Berzerkers and 1 Hearthguard Berzerker essentially, once per game they can trigger an ability beginning of combat to fight on death and do not have a ward of any kind. They’re also all locked to Vostarg lodge, so while they can be taken in any army they won’t benefit from any other lodge’s rules.
These come in 2 different flavours: defensive and offensive, basically. They have 2 separate warscrolls for ease of their differences but they do share a horn for +1 to charge rolls and an ability they can activate once per game to fight on death.
The more defensive of the 2 types of Vulkite units they wield slingshields which gives them a 4+ save base but also cause mortal wounds when charging into combat. They do only have 1 attack each however and you have a choice between a fyresteel handaxe or a fyresteel war-pick. The former wounds easier on a 3+ but has no rend while the latter needs a 4+ to wound with rend -1. I prefer to go for the war-picks beceause this unit doesn’t really want to be in combat much anyways but when they are they want their attacks to land. The unit has a great use sitting on objectives, using All Out Defence wherever possible and just tanking as many hits as they possibly can.
…with Fyresteel Handaxes
The more killy version of Vulkite Berzerkers. They have a 5+ save by foregoing shields and get a second attack on their profile, making 3 attacks each on the turn they charge. This could be bumped up to 4 attacks a piece with a Runefather nearby and with the Rune of Awakened Steel have rend on all of their attacks, or Rune of Searing Heat for mortal wounds instead with the large number of dice you’ll be throwing. If you were to set it up right you could have a unit tunnel with an Auric Runesmiter, near a Runefather/son general with the +1″ charge bonus trait to make a 7″ charge out of reserve with a lot of attacks and being able to really put the hurt on. They don’t hurt as bad as Hearthguard Berzerkers but as of 3rd edition you cant really fit in as many of those as you used to.
The bread and butter to any Fyreslayer army. Hearthguard Berzerkers become Battleline under a Runefather general and you usually see at least 2 units of them in a Fyreslayer army. They’re not cheap though, purchased in blocks of 5 at 160 points but they are incredibly hard to kill and do a lot killing back. While the unit is wholly within 9″ of at least one Fyreslayer hero they gain a 4+ ward, letting them shrug off essentially half of all incoming damage. Using them as a retinue for a Runefather or Runeson is key because they’ll get their ward after tanking the wound but also keeps a hero near them much safer from ranged damage, to keep their ward up much longer.
Swinging back they have a 2″ reach which is incredibly helpful on 32mm bases and have the choice between 2 different weapons: broadaxes or poleaxes. Primaris Kevin has helped us out and done the math between the 2 options to help you make a decision. I prefer to take Broadaxes and was happy to see the math show it to be the better option the majority of the time. The exceptions however are when facing armies/units that diminish incoming damage, the most popular being Coalesced Seraphon. Either option is still good so stick with what you like personally.
The shooty unit of your army. At only 125 points per 5 they seem relatively cheap to add a ranged threat to your army and in a Hermdar list or under a Priest general become the army’s cheapest battleline. With only an 18″ range they have to get relatively close to their target but tunnelling with a Runesmiter can get them in range of weaker back-line units with relative ease. Hitting on 4+ is the biggest let down, needing to use All Out Attack to make them hit reliaby becomes costly. There is one nice perk: their molten rockbolts. Each 6 to hit an enemy unit subtracts 1 from its move characteristic until the end of their next turn. This can’t slow them down to below half their move but does make faster units like Mawkrushas or Gargants a little more manageable. More importantly though it can slow down foot troops to a point where they can’t retreat from combat either. This will take a bit of positioning but could be very powerful if played right.
This is the army’s terrain piece. Like most others it’s deployed anything else is, in your territory. If you have a Priest nearby within your Hero phase you can use 1 of 2 abilities. The first gives all of your Priests within 18″ +1 to all Prayer rolls, which is fantastic to have on the table and the second is a once-per-game 6+ ward for your whole army. Once you’ve used the ward ability it is expended and you can’t use either buff. Generally you’ll make use of this for one, maybe two turns before needing to move further afield so burn it when you’re ready to move on. It’s free so it’s always worth taking anyways but don’t count on having it in use the whole game.
Fyreslayers are able to ally with Kharadron Overlords, Stormcast Eternals, and all of Cities of Sigmar. If your general is a Leader of the Duardrazhal then taking a few Duardin allies is key to make use of the trait – but which ones?
The flying and far shootier brethren of the Fyreslayers, these can fill a gap in your army by adding some mobility and ranged firepower. A popular choice are Gunhaulers to be able to Fly High for help with objectives and drill cannon for a long ranged gun that has potential to outright deal a few mortal wounds. A Frigate holding 10 Arkanauts would add the same mobility to your force as well as 10 more bodies on the table for 355 points but might be a bit expensive to fit around your slayers.
Not Duardian but adding in a unit of Stormdrake Guard adds mobile versatility and ranged mortal wound threat to your army, neither of which is ever a bad thing, while still having a strong combat profile. Vanguard-Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows or Judicators add a longer-ranged threat to your army as well, laying down deadly shots at range while your Fyreslayers advance up the table.
Cities of Sigmar
Just about any Duardin unit here can be beneficial to your force under a General with the Leader of the Duardrazhal. Cheaper units like Longbeards, Hammerers, or Ironbreakers add more bodies to your army to help hold down objectives while Irodrakes are more expensive but give some incredible ranged firepower. Other units though like Freeguild Guard are even cheaper and while they won’t benefit from runes in any way can still hold objectives for you!
Everyone’s favourite dwarf, probably. Taking him uses up all of your ally points and he isn’t cheap at 485 points, taking up nearly 1/4 of your 2,000 point army. He is incredibly hard to put down, making all incoming damage no more than 1 and having a 3+ ward and will absolutely kill whatever he gets into combat with. The downside though is that Redeploy exists and he only has a 4″ move with no real way to boost that outside of using the Rune for +2″ range for 1 turn, if taking a Leader of the Duardrazhal General, which over all may not even be the best option really. In battleplans with fewer objectives he becomes much stronger, being able to hunker down on 1 objective and kill whatever comes close but in 5-6 objective games it’s much easier for your opponent to simply avoid him for long enough to out-score you and still win. Definitely a fun option, but maybe not the most competitive one.
Bair’s footslogging list
Allegiance: Fyreslayers – Lodge: Greyfyrd – Grand Strategy: Master of the Forge – Triumphs: Bloodthirsty Leaders Auric Runemaster (125)*** – General – Command Trait: Master Priest – Artefact: Volatile Brazier – Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal Auric Runesmiter (135)*** – Runic Iron – Artefact: Ash-cloud Rune Auric Runeson (80)*** – Ancestral War-axe – Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact) – Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon Auric Runeson (80)*** – Ancestral War-axe – Artefact: Axe of Grimnir Auric Runeson (80) – Ancestral War-axe Battleline 10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Bladed Slingshields (160)* 10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)* 10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)* Units 10 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (320)** – Broadaxes – Reinforced x 1 10 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (320)** – Broadaxes – Reinforced x 1 10 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (320)** – Broadaxes – Reinforced x 1 Endless Spells & Invocations Molten Infernoth (40) Core Battalions *Expert Conquerors **Bounty Hunters ***Command Entourage – Magnificent Additional Enhancements Artefact Total: 2000 / 2000 Reinforced Units: 3 / 4 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 146 Drops: 11
So this is probably not actually amazing. It’s amusing for certain, it’s a lot of bodies on the table while having 30 Hearthgurad Berzerkers for damage output. The important things here are that the General is a Runemaster with Master Priest so you can use whichever rune you need most across two of your turns not just one. Getting an extra turn of additional rend or some mortal wound output, depending on opponent, will always be huge, especially for all those Vulkites with otherwise mediocre attacks. My Grand Strategy is probably one of the easiest to score. Only enemy Priests can remove the Molten Infernoth (outside of it just removing itself), there aren’t many in the game, and with 2 Priests of your own it should always be out on the table. You could swap this for the Fyrewall if you prefer, but the Infernoth can put out a surprising amount of damage over 5 turns especially to things your slower army will have a tough time getting to. This list gives each unit of Hearthguard Berzerkers a retinue hero as well to keep them alive as long as possible to keep the unit’s 4+ ward going. Since they’re not Battleline they’re also not Galetian Veterans, which means no extra damage against them from Bounty Hunters. They’re there to protect the Vulkites taking and holding objectives for oyu. The Vulkites meanwhile are happy to count as 3 models each and actually have a purpose to exist now.
Allegiance: Fyreslayers – Lodge: Lofnir – Grand Strategy: Guarded Lineage – Triumphs: Bloodthirsty
Leaders Auric Runefather on Magmadroth (360)* – General – Command Trait: Blood of the Berzerker – Artefact: Draught of Magmalt Ale – Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient
Battleline Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)* – Ancestral War-axe – Magmadroth Trait: Flame-scale Youngblood Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)* – Ancestral War-axe – Magmadroth Trait: Lava-tongue Adult Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)* – Ancestral War-axe Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)* – Ancestral War-axe Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)* – Ancestral War-axe
Core Battalions *Battle Regiment
Total: 1960 / 2000 Reinforced Units: 0 / 4 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 96 Drops: 1
First off, no, there is not a good Grand Strategy to choose from really. You only score this if you have your Runefather alive at the end of the game along with at least one of the Runesons but in the current game, it’s still the most likely one for you to score, probably. This is unfortunate because this Runefather is built to be a once-per-game melee monster. Fighting twice with double axe attacks for the whole phase is big, couple that with the enhanced rune for extra rend and All Out Attack and you’ll be landing and sticking an insane amount of damage. The downsides here though are that you have no Galetian Veterans so there will be an objective you won’t be able to take and score nearly all of the time and your models only count as 5 for objectives as well so rely heavily on killing objective holders. Fortunately, they’re actually pretty good at killing things. This is definitely a fun list, not a competitive one this season.
Allegiance: Fyreslayers – Lodge: Greyfyrd – Grand Strategy: Master of the Forge – Triumphs: Bloodthirsty
Leaders Auric Runefather on Magmadroth (360)* – General – Command Trait: Leader of the Duardrazhal – Artefact: Master Rune of Unbreakable Resolve – Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient Auric Runemaster (125)* – Artefact: Ash-cloud Rune Auric Runeson (80)* – Ancestral War-axe – Artefact: Axe of Grimnir Auric Runeson (80) – Ancestral War-axe – Artefact: Draught of Magmalt Ale
Battleline 15 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (480)** – Broadaxes – Reinforced x 2 10 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (320)** – Broadaxes – Reinforced x 1 10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Bladed Slingshields (160)
Units 20 x Irondrakes (340) – Allies – Reinforced x 1
Endless Spells & Invocations Runic Fyrewall (40)
Core Battalions *Warlord **Bounty Hunters
Additional Enhancements Artefact
Total: 1985 / 2000 Reinforced Units: 4 / 4 Allies: 340 / 400 Wounds: 122 Drops: 8
One of my favourite allies to take is a nice big blob of Irondrakes. It’s 20 extra bodies for objectives and a lot of firepower within 18″ adding something that Fyreslayers largely lack. By gaining access to runes they’re able to move up faster in the first turn to get into position behind some Hearthguard and will cause mortal wounds on 6’s to wound during the Rune of Searing Heat, which with upwards of 40 shots is no small bonus. The Fyrewall is there to score you your grand strategy and to block off enemy movement to keep your units safe and to give a little more time to shoot at them while trying to get to you. You could swap this for either other invocation though pretty happily, the Flamespitter would be a fun pick for even more ranged damage.
Hopefully you learned something about the Fyreslayers and/or how to defeat them if they’re a regular army in your local meta. While they may be a pretty blunt and straight forward hammer, a hammer can still cave your face in. Have you had any success with Fyreslayers? Let us know at email@example.com or message us on social media. We want to hear your tales of exploits from the realm of Aqshy!