While Warhammer 40K is dramatically changing and nothing is clear, let’s go into Age of Sigmar. We have a lot of new stuff here – a whole new army of Kharadron Overlords. Let’s see, what’s so special about them.
The first unusual thing is that you can attribute your army to one of 6 biggest cities of Kharadrons. Each one interprets the Kharadrone Code in its own way, so there’s a difference in tactics. It works similar to Space Marines chapter tactics – you just need to choose the city and get bonuses for free. They all are kind of useful and will affect the way you play – fastening of sky vessels, improving close combat skills, new artifacts, and abilities, etc. You can adjust your army for the particular enemy by simply changing the city – so it’s better to paint your models in colors of a random city to get the possibility to change it.
But if you don’t like any of the cities’ presets, you can generate (or choose) your own set of bonuses. There are 3 groups – Article, Amendment, and Footnote – you can combine abilities from each of them and create your own interpretation of Kharadron Code. It’s really interesting unique and it makes gameplay different each time you play Kharadrons.
Another unusual thing is that there are special upgrades for all sky vessels in addition to standard artifacts for your warlord (there are even 2 sets). It makes Kharadron army really versatile and demonstrates how their technocratic society depends on different technologies.
There’s only one unique character, but he’s awesome! Brokk Grungsson, Lord-magnate of Barak-Nar. This guy flies fast, shoots far (even with his moustache-blasters), and hits hard. And if he overcharges his harness… Also, he lets his allies to charge after running. This is a versatile character, useful for any army.
Non-special characters are useful in their own way. Admiral is a typical leader, who buffs his unit and is relatively good in close combat; Navigator fastens your flying units and slows enemies’, etc. I really liked Khemist – the guy who upgrades his allies’ attacks and lowers attacks of the enemies. Also, he has a magnificent gun with 3D6 shots and rend -2. All the characters can find their role on the battlefield and are quite balanced.
Arkanauts, basic infantry for Kharadrons aren’t really interesting – standard troops unit, badly protected and armed. You will have to take them, but they won’t be your favorites. They can be improved with 3 special weapons like harpoon or volley gun, but they are hard to shoot.
Grundstok warriors are far more dangerous. They have a huge variety of guns, each one capable of destroying the whole squad. Considering the small amount of shooting units in AoS, they can change gameplay greatly. However, they are not imbalanced, since all weapons have short range, and they risk to be caught just after the shooting.
The real danger is flying units. There’re two of them. They differ in stock wargear and abilities, but have many things in common. They both are great in shooting and in close combat, fast, can attach to sky vessels and so on. They are likely to be the tip of your spear in every battle.
And the most important… Sky vessels. There are 3 – Ironclad, Frigate and Grundstok Gunhauler. This is the main feature of Kharadron’s army. All vessels carry an apocalyptic number of long-range weapons, can transport troops and fly really fast. Besides they are allowed to enter the game via Deepstrike. These flying fortresses can make any opponent cry. Good thing – if you’ve chosen Matched play, you won’t be able to take too much of them. They are quite expensive and have Behemoth type. But even a couple of such monsters is a pain in the neck for your enemy.
There are few formations, and they are more thematical than powerful – command squad (with 3 heroes), arkanauts on frigates, and Grundstok warriors escort. Also, there’s an Armada, joining these 3 formations together and really interesting cooperation with Stormcast Eternals.
Al in all here’s a really interesting and unusual for Age of Sigmar army. Its key point is mobility – half of the units can fly and the others can embark upon flying transports. Also, it’s one of the best armies in shooting which makes it stronger than close combat oriented armies. But it’s balanced by short range and vulnerability in close combat. So, is you want to succeed with them, you have to maneuver and think about each move in advance. Warhammer 40K Dark Eldar players know this very well. Another key feature is adaptability – by choosing different interpretations of Kharadron code you can adjust your army to any situation and strengthen your weaknesses.
Considering that the army is totally new, it’s gone great. Interesting background, connected to the rules, unusual tactics. This army has its own face and I really want to play it. Let’s wait for new units and expansions!