The Goonhammer Review: The 10th Edition Leagues of Votann Index

Welcome Kin, it’s time to break out the book of grudges for a review, and prep to add some more.

LoV since its inception last year has been an army that focused on durability, efficient short ranged firepower, and a smattering of melee. In 10th edition that is still mostly true, albeit a little reduced on all fronts (some more than others).

Before we begin we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a review copy of the Index.

Army Rule – Eye of the Ancestors

Leagues of Votann Einhyr Champion and Khal. Credit: Jack Hunter

Grudges are retained as the army’s core mechanic, with a reduction in power. As shown in the preview, enemy units can accrue up to 2 Judgement Tokens, with 1 granting +1 to hit against the enemy unit and 2 granting +1 to hit and wound instead. This is pretty different from the 9th edition version of hits just translating to wounds, and while both +1 bonuses increase the efficiency of LoV attacks, the impact isn’t as significant.

The +1 to hit mechanic is further offset by the fact that almost every non character unit took a hit to BS, now every non Hearthguard unit is BS4 (BS5 on Heavy weapons on Hearthkyn Warriors). With the large toughness increase to vehicles and monsters, the +1 to wound bonus will be very important as LoV do not have access to that many anti-tank weapons. It still isn’t as effective as 9th ed tokens were in this regard, but at least it’a still a welcome increase to the effectiveness of the army vs big targets.

I’ve also, thus far, skipped how tokens even get accrued. At baseline, when an enemy unit kills an LoV unit they get a token – simple, but not as broad as last edition. There are other ways, such as the detachment ability below.

Detachment Rules

Brôkhyr Iron-master. Credit: Rockfish
Brôkhyr Iron-master. Credit: Rockfish

Detachment Ability – Ruthless Efficiency

The Oathbound detachment further leans into grudges, before the start of turn 1, you pick an enemy unit and slap 2 Judgement Tokens straight onto it, and then in your first Command Phase after you kill that target you get some bonus CP (1-3 depending on what turn). With starting with 0CP, getting a glut of CP early can be beneficial, but having to decide before the start means this isn’t always going to give you a quick hit. Effectively you end up playing a mini-game with your opponent with this ability, as they get a bit of leeway to decide whether it’s more important to get the unit into the fray or deny you Command Points. This puts some brain strain on both players in this regard, but can be useful in some match ups. Know your opponent has a hard hitting alpha strike melee unit? Probably a good target for this, deters them from using it for it’s normal purpose, and creates a win-win condition for you; they either don’t use that asset or feed you CP. If you desperately need CP, you could also target a vulnerable infiltrating unit that’s very likely to die early.


So these are the new warlord trait/relic type add ons to characters. They cannot be added to Epic Heroes, because they have stuff already, supposedly. There are 4 that LoV has access to, and at least 2 of them are pretty good. A Long List makes its return, meaning that when the bearer (or the unit it is attached to) kills an enemy unit with any Judgement Tokens, you can immediately place a Judgement Token on another enemy unit that is visible to them. Very useful for getting tokens out there, especially as you generally have fewer than in 9th.

Next up we have Appraising Glare, in your command phase choose an objective that is controlled by your opponent, until the end of the PHASE enemy units within range of that objective count as having one more Judgement Token than they currently do. Which would be AMAZING if we had any way to kill enemy units in our command phase, hah. On a real note we think this is a typo and probably is supposed to say end of the turn, which would actually make this work and be really good and a probably auto-take – the bearer doesn’t even need to be able to see this objective, it just happens.

Want to have a character that magically stands up like the resurrection? Look no further than Ancestors Grace, which means that when the character dies you still hand out a Judgement Token, byt at the end of the phase roll a D6, on a 2+ set that character back up as close as possible with full wounds remaining. Cheeky, not sure how great it is yet though.

Lastly we have Grim Demeanour, which gives the attached unit a reroll for battleshock tests and ignores stat / attack modifiers (not including armor modifiers, so still eat AP like a normal unit). This looks to be the weakest of the 4 to me, but who knows, maybe this will be a big deal once we see more of the edition.


There are 6 LoV stratagems now, and most of them are pretty different from what was in the 9th ed book. Reactive Reprisal was previewed already in the faction preview, 2CP to shoot back at an enemy unit that has tokens and shot it. This stratagem can be pretty spicy, though I think the trick will be getting the tokens onto the targets,as early game token generation is gonna be slow and late game 2CP is gonna be precious. For 1CP Warrior Pride gives a unit +1AP to its melee attacks in the fight phase, as long as it targets an enemy unit with Judgement tokens. This is going to take all of our meaningful melee (beserk mauls anyone?)  to AP-3 or AP-2, so this can be a pretty big buff in the right scenario.

Next up we have Newfound Nemesis for 1CP, in your opponents shooting phase or any fight phase, after an enemy resolves its attacks if it reduces an LoV INFANTRY or MOUNTED unit below half strength, it gets a Judgement Token, 2 tokens if the LoV unit contained your Warlord. Great for getting more tokens out there. Ancestral Sentence makes its return, but now it no longer grants full hit rerolls vs enemy units with tokens for 1CP. Instead in the shooting phase it gives the LoV unit SUSTAINED HITS 1, which gets boosted to SUSTAINED HITS 2 vs an enemy unit with tokens. With the loss in BS to most units the old version was more than likely still better, but this version has some serious spike potential. Imagine the first time you use this on a Land Fortress and the Magna Rail rolls a 6 to hit vs an enemy unit with a token, and you get three massive hits, hilarious.

Time for the real upset, Void Armor as an army ability is gone, now it is a 1CP strat that reduces the AP of attacks against an LoV unit for that phase. So at least we still kind of have it. Finally, Well Ordered Retreat is back as well, and now it lets a unit fall back, shoot and charge, for 1CP. Real solid. (Land Forts can fall back and shoot now, if you need to.)


Five Coolest Units

  • Einhyr Hearthguard
  • Kahl
  • Sagitaur
  • Brokhyr Thuderkyn
  • Hearthkyn Pioneers

Before we jump into the specifics of units, I wanted to highlight some major overall changes. As we just went over, Void Armor as an army ability is gone. So enemies can reroll wounds and damage against us now, combined with no longer reducing AP outside using a stratagem on one unit.

To compensate for this massive loss in durability, all of our units gained 1 point of toughness (more than 1 for vehicles in line with other armies). Oh whoops did I say all our units? I meant all our units except Uthar and Beserks. I am not really sure why they decided to skip these 2 units, maybe they forgot they were already T5? I can see the argument for Beserks not getting a boost because they don’t even wear shirts, but come on GW they literally have metal arms and skulls and stuff.

Personally I hope these 2 units are typos, but I won’t be surprised if they aren’t. Additionally as I said earlier, almost every unit is BS4+ now, and also WS4+, and if they weren’t already a melee unit they lost some attacks too. Most weapons lost a point of AP, but that is mostly game wide, so not too unexpected.


Ûthar the Destined. Credit: Rockfish
Ûthar the Destined. Credit: Rockfish

It is really hard to start here, Uthar has been probably my favorite unit in this army, and they did him dirty. He lost a wound, 1 point of strength on his blade, all reroll abilities, and pieces of his destiny ability. His Volkite and the blade have DEVASTATING WOUNDS, so they still deal mortals, but now on 6s to wound instead of hit, and the blade is damage 2 still, so only deals 2 mortals vs enemy units with tokens. His destiny ability can be used once every player turn now, but can only change a hit, wound, or damage roll to a 6, for himself. Which is really weird, because he doesn’t roll damage for anything (so probably a typo?) and the rule explicity says for this model, so doesn’t work on attached unit or anything. He retained the ability to change the damage of attacks allocated to him to 1, which is still good, but he doesn’t do a lot on his own, so we’ll see? The Rampart Crest now grants a 5+ invulnerable save to any unit he is leading (can lead Hearthkyn Warriors or Hearthguard) vs being an aura, so still has a function. Lastly all Kahls retain the Grim Efficiency ability, to put a Judgement Token on a visible enemy unit, however this ability can only be used by 1 Kahl a turn, so no stacking Uthar/Kahls to throw more than 1 token in the command phase. Does Uthar still do things? Yes, but compared to 9th, he is a pale shadow of before.


The most important change about Kahls is, there is no limit per detachment anymore, so you can take up to 3 in an army now. As stated in the unit intro, they are T5, which pretty cool, but the weapons took slight hits, lost a wound, less AP etc. Like Uthar they still have Grim Efficiency as described above, but the real sauce of the bonus they give to a unit they lead (Hearthkyn Warriors or Hearthguard again). The Kindred Hero ability grants LETHAL HITS to the unit it leads (and to itself of course). With the amount of lower strength shots/attacks that Hearthkyn/Hearthguard throw out, this is really important, and it kind of brings back old Judgement Tokens in a way.

However there is again a drawback here, if you remember Magna Rails have DEVASTATING WOUNDS (so does Volkite like I mentioned in the Uthar entry), which deals mortals instead of normal damage on crit wounds. Well you know what doesn’t ever deal Crit wounds? Attacks that auto wound via LETHAL HITS. Sadly it doesn’t appear that the benefit of LETHAL HITS is optional, so you couldn’t roll those wound rolls even if you wanted to. So again hits causing auto wounds causing synergy problems with army mechanics, the most frustrating part being that Hearthguard with Volkite that use the Overwatch stratagem with a Kahl attached, can’t deal mortals, like at all. Even with this in mind, the benefit to the other weapons in these 2 unit types from LETHAL HITS outweighs the drawback imo, it just makes me sad to see this stuff still not working. Last piece, like Uthar, if you take the Rampart Crest you give the attached unit a 5++, if you take a Teleport Crest you grant the unit the Deep Strike ability.

I want to preface before I go into the other characters review, be prepared to be disappointed. Every character can lead a unit and none have Lone Operative.

Einhyr Champion

Still kind of a beat stick, doesn’t gain an extra wound from taking a shield crest anymore, just the 4++. No more damage reduction or -1 to wound in melee. Both melee weapons lost attacks, and the hammer deals D6+1 damage. The hammer is S12 now and one of the few weapons that is above S9, so maybe needed just for that alone, even though it is only 3 attacks. It kept the mortals on the successful charge ability, which is something. It can only lead Hearthguard, and grants the attached unit reroll charges, which is ok, but meh. If it wasn’t obvious yet, the Exactor is gone, so no more mortal wound hammer of doom. Mostly underwhelming.


The Grimnyr can only lead Hearthkyn Warriors, and when leading grants the unit +1T, so that squad will be T6 (and before you get too excited about T6 Hearthkyn, squad size is only 10 models now, so no dreams of T6 20 model brick) like the rest of the non vehicles in the army, and has a once per game ability to auto pass a failed Battle-shock test for the attached unit. Combine this with the fact that if you bring Hearthkyn Warriors, you’re probably are splitting them now to sacrifice for Judgement Tokens, there’s even less reason to bring the Grimnyr. Yes that is it, if you were hoping for CP or some form of OC stat denial, nope.

Brokhyr Ironmaster

Well the good news is the Ironmaster can heal a vehicle or Thunderkyn for 3 wounds. They can join Hearthkyn Warriors or Brokhyr Thunderkyn and grants the unit +1 to hit with ranged weapons. Obviously it doesn’t really synergize with tokens, but not every unit will have tokens so it has some value. 6 grav Thunderkyn with an Ironmaster that come in from strategic reserve are a decent play vs vehicles without needing to rely on Judgement tokens too. The only other issue is that any unit they join will not fit in any transports, so strategic reserve or running up the board is the only way it works. So overall Ok I guess.

Hearthkyn Warriors

Leagues of Votann Hearthkyn Warriors and Characters. Credit: Jack Hunter

This unit was already previewed so I won’t go too hard. Locked to 10 model squad size, the Hesyr lost a wound, the unit lost an attack and BS/WS hits across the board. Can take 2 special weapons in the squad, and the medikit/comms/scanner. As seen, the rail is now S12 which is an important break point, but with only 1 shot at BS5+. Ugh, I don’t even know what more to say other than just being disappointed. The L7 is BS4+ which is nice, and is also S9 now, but still is only wounding most high toughness units on 5s, so not great. Sadly out of the 2 special weapons, you can only take 1 of a kind, which just feels bad (and could be a melee weapon instead which is kind of funny), but I guess this is due to how the kit is built in the box. 10 wounds at 4+/6+++ (from the medipack) is not going to live very long if focused, and their damage output is way lowered.  If sticky objectives become necessary then I can see these getting used, but if not, this unit definitely got worse (and barely were being used already). So maybe splitting units with the intent to sticky objectives and die? I dunno still a real hard sell to me.

Einhyr Hearthguard

Probably the biggest winner of the codex (and they still got nerfed hah). Still 2+ armor and now T6, they lost the -1D ability and are still only 2W. Which feels terrible for a unit that is supposed to be our terminator equivalent, and watch SM termies go to 4W because of carrying a shield. Like most other weapons, all the AP dropped by 1 point, but otherwise the weapons are largely unchanged. Plasma is still 1 shot, and with S8 being even less valuable vs vehicles/monsters now, so Volkites are looking even better than they already were. Volkite still deals mortals, just on the wound roll now, which synergizes real well with the Ancestors Sentence stratagem for SUSTAINED HITS to get extra hits and opportunities to roll 6s to wound, still not quite as good as the old way, but great.

Melee weapons are a harder choice than ever imo, with blades being S6, they will only wound T12 on 6s, so even though the gauntlets at S9 only wound T10+ on 5s, if you run into T12, you are gonna need gauntlets. Not sure which way to go here, I definitely preferred blades in the past if not just for rule of cool, but going forward I think gauntlets may be the play.  If they have a leader attached to the unit, any attacks against them that have a higher strength value than their toughness are -1 to wound. So any attacks at S7+ are -1 to wound, which is pretty good and the reason why you should always attach a character (I mean always attach a Kahl). The teleport crest and shield crest work the same, shield crest gives the bearer a 4++, teleport crest allows the unit to deepstrike. So have the attached Kahl bring a rampart crest for unit 5++, and the unit brings a teleport crest in case you want to deepstrike.

Sidenote: no more Site to Site stratagem, so no more mid game teleporting Hearthguard. However this unit is prime to use the Rapid Insertion stratagem on, which while not as good as Site to Site used to be, is still good overall.

Cthonian Beserks

Ymyr Conglomerate Cthonian Beserk. Credit: Corrode

As the best (and only?) melee unit in the army, it still ends up being a mandatory choice to take some imo. They only fight on death on a 4+ now, sweep profile of the axe lost a point of strength, AP loss all around, lost the bonus to 5+++ roll vs damage 1. They did keep WS3+ though, so there is that silver lining. The maul is WS4+ and one of our 3D sources remaining, so if you were running any Axes before, you probably just want Mauls now, as much as it hurts my Axe enjoying soul to say. The Mole Grenade Launcher can still slow enemies which is cool. After it has shot, pick an enemy unit hit by a Mole Grenade Launcher and roll 1 D6, on a 4+ that unit is -2 to move, advance, and charge. Extra hilarious to use in the mirror, making slow units even slower.

Brokhyr Thunderkyn

Only some slight changes here, since Dense is no longer a thing, that ability is gone and replaced with Overwatching on a 5+, which could be pretty good. All 3 weapon types are pretty different from now. Grav no longer gets bonus damage, but is anti vehicle 2+. The beamer is shorter range and gets the bonus of SUSTAINED HITS D3 on 4+ to hit against units more than 12″ away (just normal 6s to hit if closer), with BS4+ effectively hits will proc bonus hits (unless shooting at a unit with tokens, or an attached Ironmaster, because 3s). The bolt keeps the range and gains SUSTAINED HITS 1. Everything lost an AP. With the Beamer and Bolt being lower strength, I think people will want Grav, because wounding T10+ vehicles on 2s is just something you don’t have anywhere else in the army. I think if we had a way to reroll the hit roll for the Beamer or Bolt, they would be way better, but alas we just don’t.

Hearthkyn Pioneers

A few changes here, Scout move is 9″ now, searchlight gives +1 to hit vs stealth units, comms works like Warriors comms for potential to regain CP when stratagems are used on this unit, and scanner still ignores cover. Everything lost AP, rotary cannon lost shots but gained SUSTAINED HITS 1, BS4/WS4 with less attacks. The Ion beamer is 3 shots that are SUSTAINED HITS D3, so maybe has some play, but I think the Rotary Cannon is still going to be better. They are OC2 like Hearthkyn, granted much less on model count than Hearthkyn, but still with their move speed, definitely need them. Their ability is if they are within 6” of a table edge at the end of your opponent’s turn and not in engagement range, they can be removed from the table and put into Strategic Reserves. This has some potential board coverage play, so can probably work this into victory points if the missions fit.


Credit: Shane Watts

Bumped up to T10, BS4/WS4, bolt cannon is twin linked now instead of 2 guns worth of shots, most weapons lost AP. Has Scout 6″ now, so that could be neat. 6 max transport and now can only split Hearthkyn Warriors, no longer need more than 1 to split, allowing you to get reasonable board control out of one plus a Heathkyn unit. Also has the Dedicated Transport keyword, so you can use up to six as as long as they have models inside. Only downside is not splitting Beserks, so you can’t take 30 and split them all out. 5 Berserks in a Sagitaur might be good, with the 6″ pre-game move, but it still isn’t much. Turret weapon wise, maybe we have a shake up. The Hylas Beam Cannon and Sagitaur Missile Launcher are both S12 where there is almost none in the index otherwise. Both are 2 shots, Beam has SUSTAINED HITS D3 at 24” and D6 damage, vs 36” range and 3D flat on the Sagitaur launcher, both are AP-3. With the Sagituar launcher bringing along an extra shot from the L7 missile launcher at S9, these 2 are a toss up for which to take.

I can see an argument to bring these as anti high toughness units, but you still need stuff to put in them, so Hearthkyn Warriors / Beserks will be a semi tax to the amount you can field. Additionally it has the ability to let units disembark after it has advanced, and the unit counts as moving normally and cannot charge. With the charge restriction this is mostly a tactic to get a 5 model Hearthkyn Warrior squad an angle to shoot, or to do a long distance objective/mission grab.

Land Fortress

Trans-Hyperian Alliance Hekaton Land Fortress. Credit: Colin Ward

The other unit that was already previewed, T12, BS4/WS4, 2 sets of twin linked bolt or ion now, turret weapon of choice. Warhead still replaces the scanner which grants ignores cover, so yeah no reason to take the Warhead still. Transports 12 models, exo is 2 slots, exo armor is 3, so Hearthguard/Thunderkyn still only fit if small size unit. Since it has the fire support rule, this is one of the best setups for Thunderkyn dealing damage to monsters (reroll wounds) and Heathguard fishing for mortals on volkite, but since again only small size units fit, the question of larger units still being better maybe is there.

Regardless of the turret choice, you are still throwing out 12 2D attacks with a Land Fortress, so popping Ancestral Sentence for SUSTAINED HITS 1/2 can be cheeky. Turret choice is kind of interesting here, with the loss of Ymyr beamer mortals, the heavy conversion beamer loses some output and it is only S10, so it is going to have issues cracking high toughness units. The cyclic ion turret has the most shots, but is only S9 AP-2 2D, so still not ideal for high toughness. Meanwhile the Rail, while still very high strength is S18 so wounds most vehicles on 3s, and only hits on 4s, with one shot, ugh. When it connects it can do a lot, but the when is the problem. I am not really sure there is a best answer for the turret choice at this point, but I will be running rails for now, simply because of the lack of S12+ weapons.

Five Biggest changes from 9th

  • Scout moving Sagitaur
  • Thunderkyn Grav wound vehicles on 2s
  • Land Fortress is even more swingy
  • Multiple Kahls
  • Enemies rerolling wounds against us

Wrap Up

There is almost no rerolls in the entirety of the army, zero hit rerolls available (seriously WTF GW, we are the only index in the game with zero hit rerolls), minimal twin linked wound rerolls on the 2 vehicles, and a few full re-rolls the Land Fortress Fire support rule. This combined with the lack of high strength attacks is going to make the usage of quantity of fire and 2 Judgement tokens vital to killing monsters/vehicles. Sure a Land Fortress Magna Rail can deal 12 damage to a vehicle/monster, but without rerolls or auto hit/wound mechanics, the odds are not great. I have concerns about if that will be enough to deal with high toughness monsters, at least we have a little grav for vehicles, but we’ll see. Unit wise, I think Hearthguard are the biggest winners in the army, not that they still haven’t gotten nerfed like the rest of the army. The value of a 2+ save is even more important for relying on durability now, just hope not to run into mass Mortal Wounds, which I guess isn’t that different from before. At least Beserks didn’t get nerfed as badly as Wulfen.

Wings: I have mostly just been watching Shane’s descent into sadness here, but yeah things look pretty tough for Votann out the gate. I expect the late 9th trend towards Thunderkyn to intensify, and lots of mechanised units in Sagitaurs backing those up alongside some bikes feels like your best play.