White Dwarf #475 – Tome Celestial: Kharadron Overlords

White Dwarf Tome Celestials have been bringing 2nd edition army books up to speed with 3rd edition, one at a time, with mixed results. Kharadrons get the White Dwarf treatment this month, meaning that we can safely assume we’re a while away from a full battletome update now as well. 

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Updated Warscroll

The Admiral got a brand new Warscroll. He still costs the same 125 points but is probably going to be seen in all Kharadron lists from now on, especially at events where he can grant flexibility that will allow the same list to stand against a variety of opponents. 

His weapons remain nearly the same but his pistol has been upgraded to damage 2. At 3 shots hitting 3+ and wounding 4+ with rend -1 this is a nice bit of damage but being only 9” range means it won’t be shooting if garrisoned in a skyvessel that used Fly High that turn. The artefact that adds 2 to the number of attacks it makes though is now marginally more interesting, giving you up to 10 damage with his weapon in a turn, but there are still much better artefacts to take for your army. 

Previously the Admiral had 4 unique commands to use. This time he only kept the Master of the Skies command (to allow his garrisoned skyvessel to shoot after running) but has traded the others for unique ammunition instead. You have to choose one of the 3 unique ammunitions at the start of the game and can only use it once per game, but RAW you could take multiple Admirals then you can use this ability once each. They all work the same, at the start of one of your shooting phases you pick an enemy unit within 12” and on a 2+ to effect is successful, on a 1 nothing happens and you can’t try to use it again, the munitions have failed! 

Aether-powered Munitions:

  • Blazebeard and Sons ‘Drakk-hobbler Mag-boolas” – Pick an enemy Monster within 12” and on a 2+ charge moves it makes are done on 1D6 instead of 2D6 until the end of your opponent’s next turn. Funny enough it doesn’t reduce the number of dice rolled, it just changes it from 2D6 to 1D6 so if your opponent has a 3D6 charge (like from Kragnos) it won’t be affected at all. 
  • Celestium Burst-Grenade – The enemy unit cannot make ward rolls for wounds or mortal wounds. This is situationally very, very powerful and since you get to pick it after seeing your opponent’s army you can load it only if you know wards are going to present a problem. It only lasts until the end of that shooting phase, so it’s a good thing that Kharadrons do most their damage in the shooting phase (for the most part, you crazy Skywarden-heavy Admirals). Most ward rolls in the game are only done on a 6+ so it’s probably not worth taking over the next one. However, against Maggotkin of Nurgle removing a 5+ ward from a unit you need dead is huge. Even better, if you ever do find yourself playing against Fyreslayers then being able to remove a Hearthguard Berzerker unit’s 4+ ward is incredibly strong. 
  • Grudgebreaker Rounds – A friendly non-skyvessel Kharadron unit wholly within 12” gains an extra point of Rend until the end of the phase. The obvious choice here is probably going to be Thunderers for Rend -2 rifles (and better rend on all other weapons too) but also consider a unit of Endrinriggers! 

The Admiral’s bodyguard rule also saw an upgrade, now transferring wounds across on a 3+ instead of a 5+, helping keep him alive a little while longer. 

Open Play

For any of you that are using these rules, the Kharadrons get a couple fun options here. If you roll a 1 on the Twist table and are playing Kharadrons then instead you can randomise between 2 unique results: one adding 2” to the move of all Fly units and the other potentially causing mortal wounds to any Fly unit after it runs or charges as an aetheric storm consumes the table. 

They also get a Ruse to use for a once-per-game re-roll all hits with one of their Skyvessels. Very aptly named “Ol’ Reliable” it’s a very good effect to be able to have and will bring a lot more damage to your ship. 

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Matched Play 

The Kharadrons have gained 1 Grand Strategy to be able to take when building a list and also 3 battle tactics to use in game. There are also 2 Core Battalions but Kharadron armies are hard pressed to take anything other than a single-drop battalion to try and get that first punch in (at range, with guns, obviously no actual punches). 

Grand Strategy 

Spend Shares to Make Shares

You score this grand strategy if, at the end of the game, all of the Kharadron units left alive do not have any shares of aether-gold and you have spent a share of aether-gold every battle round. 

So you need to make sure you’re spending a share each turn that’s played and that you don’t accidentally have any left at the end of the game. You have 5 turns to spend all of your gold, which is something you’re wanting to do anyway. A word of caution, you can reasonably expect not many of your units to be left alive against most enemies so don’t get caught without enough Gold to spend before the game ends.

Kharadrons didn’t really have many good/easy Grand Strategy choices before so it’s nice to have one that’s in line with what you’re already doing. 

Battle Tactics 

Bombing Run

Pick an enemy unit and kill it using the “Bomb Racks” ability on the Gunhauler, Frigate, and Ironclad warscrolls. If you have multiple ships in range to use this ability on the unit you chose, and that unit is very nearly dead, then maybe you can choose it. If you only have 1 ship though you’re trying to score a battle tactic by rolling a 4+ to deal D3 mortal wounds which is just not reliable. 

Mobilise the Fleet

You pick 3 of your units that are on the battlefield (which means not in a ship) and at the end of the turn if they’re garrisoned within a Skyvessel then you score it. You’re also now allowed to choose it in the first battle round, so you can’t just deploy outside the ships and get in turn 1. You can’t choose this in your first turn and it’s hard to see a situation where you’ll have units on the table, not in ships, and able to/wanting to get in. 

Boots on the Ground

Choose 3 of your units in ships and have them wholly within enemy territory on the battlefield (so, outside of the ships) at end of turn. You’ll have to have at least one ship in enemy territory (or close enough for the disembarking troops to be in it after) to be able to score it, so not very easy but if you’re set up for it then go for it. 

Core Battalions

In matched play games you’re not able to use warscroll battalions but instead use core battalions. There are a few in the core rules as well as the General’s Handbook, and this update has brought 2 more to the table for Kharadron Overlords. Unfortunately neither will really see much use because they’re not one-drop battalions which most Kharadron armies lean on.

Iron Sky Attack Squadron


  • 2-3 Frigates
  • 2-3 Units of Arkanaut Company

You get the Expert and Strategists abilities giving you a once-per-game extra command point and allowing one of the units in the battalion to receive the All-out Attack or All-out Defence command without spending a command point. This doesn’t let you use either command more than once per phase though. 

Grundstock Escort Wing


  • 2-3 Gunhaulers
  • 1 Unit of Thunderers
  • 0-1 Frigates 
  • 0-1 Ironclads
  • 0-3 units of Skywardens (not Endrinriggers)

This battalion gives the Slayers ability. That’s it. Once per game one of the units can receive the All-out Attack or Unleash Hell command without spending a command point. There are some situations maybe where getting to use Unleash Hell for free would be great but giving up the option to run a one-drop battalion is usually going to hurt your list more. 

Path to Glory

These are a set of rules that you get in addition to those in the normal Path to Glory section in the Core Rulebook, expanding what your army can gain in experience, giving additional Territories, and a unique Quest to attempt. 


If one of your Skyvessels is killed during a Path to Glory battle then instead of the normal injury/casualty roll you instead have a whole new table to roll on for it. This is very thematic and really plays into how these ships are damaged as opposed to how a Monster or a normal unit might be. 

You roll a 2D6 and consult the table:

  • 2-3 Wrecked – Remove the ship from your order of battle. It is destroyed and you’ll need to buy a new one!
  • 4 Hull Breach – In the next battle the ship suffers a -1 to all save rolls. The hull has been weakened and is prone to more damage. 
  • 5 Damaged Propeller – For the next battle subtract 2” from the ship’s move characteristic. It won’t stop you from Flying High though!
  • 6 Punctured Endrin – In the next battle it cannot use the Fly High ability. This is definitely the more damaging of the 2 movement damage effects.
  • 7 Unstable Footing – During the next battle subtract 1 from all hit rolls for missile weapons used by the ship. It does not effect any units garrisoned though, just the ship itself. 
  • 8-11 Scratches and Dents – No effect. The ship has made its way back to the docks and is fit for flight. 
  • 12 It’ll Take More Than That! – The ship doesn’t suffer any damage effects and instead gains 2D6 renown and gains a ward of 6+ in your next battle only. 


Negotiate Endrin- Contract 

When choosing a quest for your force you can pick this one and choose a Skyvessel from your order of battle without a Great Endrinwork and choose 1 that is normally available to it. You complete the quest if this Skyvessel was involved in that game, was not destroyed during the battle, and gained 3 or more renown from that battle. After completing the quest you can add the chosen Great Endrinwork to your order of battle but can only be given to that specific Skyvessel. If the Skyvessel is lost from your order of battle then so is the Great Endrinwork! 

Veteran Abilities 

When a Kharadron unit from your order of battle gains an order of battle, it can pick one of the ones below in place of the ones listed in the Core Rulebook:

High-Altitude Aether-Boosters – A unit of Skyfarers can be given this ability which is used once per game at the start of one of your movement phases. Remove it from the table, set it aside in reserves, and at the start of the following charge phase set it up anywhere on the table more than 9” away from enemy units. This is really fun for a unit of Skywardens being able to teleport across the table and still be able to charge! 

Grudgereaker Rounds – Available to any unit if your army, when chosen to shoot in the shooting phase can once per game improve the rend of their missile weapons until the end of the phase. The unit affected by this cannot benefit from an Admiral’s Aether-powered Munitions ability in the same phase (so wouldn’t ignore ward and can’t stack more rend). Unlike the Admiral’s munitions you can give this to a Skyvessel as well, for some heavy hitting shooting from one of your ships! 

Voidstone Scatter Mines – A Skyvessel can be given these mines and once per battle at the start of the enemy hero phase unleash them and each time that this Skyvessel would be affected by a spell or ability from an endless spell then roll a dice and on a 2+ the effects are ignored. Kharadrons don’t have many ways of stopping magic so this is a fantastic upgrade for your ship! It won’t protect any units aboard it though, so they can still be targeted and hit by magic! 


You gain access to 3 new territories to be able to take as well, replacing the 61-66 results. 

61-62 Dockside Workshop – Increase your War Machines limit by 2. Upgrade for 10GP to a Great Endrinhall and increase the limit by 4 instead of 2 and gain an ability: each time you roll for Skyvessel Damage in the aftermath sequence you can spend 1 Glory to re-roll the result. 

63-64 Alehouse – Reduces the cost of recuperating units for your Order of Battle by 1 glory point each. Upgrade for 15GP for Bugman’s own XXXXXX on tap to also add 1 to all recuperating roles. It will still be a minimum of 1 glory point so it doesn’t get you anything for free but by name alone you should be hoping you get this first.

65-66 Aethergold Vault – When fighting a battle against another Path to Glory army, pick 1 friendly unit to have 1 additional share of Aethergold. Upgrade for 20GP to a Grand Vault to instead pick 3 friendly units to gain an extra share of aethergold instead of only 1. 


Heroic Upgrades

Once one of your heroes has gained 20 renown points and you have 4 glory points to spend on the upgrade, you can upgrade any one of your Heroes to become an Admiral. Additionally at the same cost you can upgrade an Endrinmaster with Endrinharness to be an Endrinmaster in Dirigible Suit instead. 


Overall it’s nice to have a bit of an update for the army. Unfortunately there are still some very frustrating questions revolving around garrisoning and how the ships are really meant to work in the new edition but White Dwarf was never going to be the place for that. 

The Admiral has seen a hefty boost in usefulness and will see a lot more play for certain. These Matched Play changes have not suddenly shifted the army into A tier, and probably not even B tier either which many players were hoping for, but does help no doubt. 

Path to Glory is a really fun system to play games too and having some more narrative for your force is always welcome, and think that the few things here can go a long way in making your Sky Port and force feel a bit more unique.

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