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Age of Sigmar Armies Guide: a Faction and Race Overview

As a new player, it can be hard to figure out what Age of Sigmar armies there are and how the different factions are split up.

This article will run you through exactly what armies and factions there are in Age of Sigmar. First we have an overview of various things you should know.

After that we have a table with all Age of Sigmar armies and after that we run down things you should know about each specific faction or army.

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Age of Sigmar armies and factions: the complete list

Right now, there are 24 factions with a Battletome (or a confirmed battletome).

The last years have seen an insane amount of battletomes released to allow every single supported model to find a home and a set of rules. Earlier many armies were split into many factions with different levels of support and rules.

Right now, you know that whatever army you buy, they are at least supported with a battletome and rules.

The factions and armies in Age of Sigmar are:

  1. Beasts of Chaos (Chaos)
  2. Blades of Khorne (Chaos)
  3. Disciples of Tzeentch (Chaos)
  4. Hedonites of Slaanesh (Chaos)
  5. Maggotkin of Nurgle (Chaos)
  6. Skaven (Chaos)
  7. Slaves to Darkness (Chaos)
  8. Flesh-Eater Courts (Death)
  9. Nighthaunt (Death)
  10. Ossiarch Bonereapers (Death)
  11. Soulblight Gravelords (Death)
  12. Gloomspite Gitz (Destruction)
  13. Ogor Mawtribes (Destruction, Beastclaw Raiders merged with Gutbusters)
  14. Orruk Warclans (Destruction, Ironjawz merged with Bonesplitterz and Kruleboyz)
  15. Sons of Behemat (Destruction)
  16. Cities of Sigmar (Order)
  17. Daughters of Khaine (Order)
  18. Fyreslayers (Order)
  19. Idoneth Deepkin (Order)
  20. Kharadron Overlords (Order)
  21. Lumineth Realm-lords (Order)
  22. Seraphon (Order)
  23. Stormcast Eternals (Order)
  24. Sylvaneth (Order)

What are Grand Alliances, Battletomes, Factions, Allegiances, Subfactions, Endless Spell and Faction Terrain?


Before we get to the table with an overview of all the armies, it might be helpful for you to know what pieces the various armies are made up of.

Grand Alliances

Age of Sigmar has four Grand Alliances.

Each faction is part of only one of those four alliances.

The four Grand Alliances are Destruction, Death, Chaos and Order.

In Age of Sigmar 3.0 it is not possible any more to field a generic army from a Grand Alliance, so use them just as guidelines.

Factions

Each Grand Alliance is made up of several factions.

A faction could be Skaven (Chaos), Nighthaunt (Death), Gloomspite Gitz (Destruction) or Stormcast Eternals (Order).

To field an army you need to pick a faction. Each faction has a battletome. A faction represents a more or less homogenous group of fighters that compose your army.

Battletomes

Each faction has a rulebook called a “Battletome”, giving them special abilities when you take only units from that faction.

If you are used to Warhammer 40,000, you will be pleased to know that it is rare to see an army in Age of Sigmar that is not made completely from units that are found in the battetome for the army, making fielded armies more cohesive.

However, some factions may have rules spread across other narrative rule books like the recent Broken Realms campaign, or in White Dwarf articles where the designers experiment with a specific aspect of the army and expand on it. These are usually quite thematic, but some give a competitive edge to a particular side of a faction.

Allegiances

Every faction has one at least one set of allegiance: that is a set of rules that apply to all miniatures sharing that faction keywords. For example, all Nighthaunt units in a Nighthaunt army would benefit from Nighthaunt allegiance traits.

However some factions may have more than one allegiance, for example Orruk Warclans have four allegiances: Big Waaagh!, Bonesplitterz, Ironjawz and Kruleboyz. On top of that every subfaction also has an allegiance that supersedes or complements their faction allegiance.

At the end of a battletome or other tome there is a list called pitched battle profiles. These determine which units can be used for that specific faction and their battle roles.

Some allegiances, like Legion of the First Prince, are cross-faction. Those are usually referenced only in a narrative or campaign book and are recommended mostly for experienced players, but you need to be aware of their existence in case you encounter them.

If you want to know more about allegiances, read our article on it here.

Subfactions

Within a faction, there can be several “Subfactions”. Those are special keywords that you can (or must in some cases) assign to your army before determining the different battle roles. Your faction battle traits (or set of rules) will tell you how you can assign a subfaction to your army.

For example, in the Slaanesh Battletome you have Invaders, Pretenders and Godseekers. Each one puts a particular spin on the army, favouring one side of the army and allowing to make different choices when building your army.

Subfactions are linked to keywords, so it’s not possible to add a keyword to a fighter that has already another subfaction keyword in its profile, but this does not prevent its use in your army: it simply will not use your subfaction specific allegiance abilities.

Subfactions can have multiple names in different battletomes: Stormcast Eternals have Stormhosts, Slaanesh has Hosts and Ogors have Mawtribes to name few.

Special mention goes to Cities of Sigmar where every city has its own set of rules and there is no “basic allegiance” without taking a subfaction. Cities of Sigmar is also a fully comprehensive home of the oldest sets of miniatures surviving from the “world-that-was”: Empire, Dwarfs and Elves (High, Dark and Wood).

Allies and Coalitions

Most factions in their pitched battle profile have one or more factions listed as Allies. This means that, if they wish, they can include any unit from that list in their own army using the rules for allied units. These do not count as minimum requirement for battle roles (for example they don’t count as battlelines) but they do count for the maximum requirement (for example you can’t exceed the number of allowed Behemoths). Allies also do not use their own allegiance abilities and they don’t inherit your faction allegiance abilities. You can field 1 allied unit every 4 units.

Some fighters can be used as allies in different factions independently from the official Ally list of that faction. For example Gotrek can be used in any army with an Order general, or Kragnos can be used in any army with a Destruction general.

Certain factions can have a battle trait allowing Coalition units. These are different from allies as they inherit the faction keyword and therefore can benefit from your faction allegiance abilities and can be given enhancements.

For example, Cities of Sigmar armies can field 1 Stormcast unit every 4 units. In addition, Living City armies can field 1 Sylvaneth unit every 4 or Tempest’s Eye can field 1 Kharadron Overlords unit every 4.

Chaos God armies (Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, Tzeentch) can take from Slaves to Darkness (2 every 4), Beasts of Chaos (1 every 4) or Skaven (only Nurgle and only units with Clans Pestilens keyword, 1 in 4) providing the new units that Chaos God keyword.

Endless Spells, Invocations and Faction Terrain

The Gloomspite Gitz faction terrain surrounded by a bunch of nasty gitz

Wizards and Priests can summon magical (Endless Spells) or divine (Invocations) entities to do their bidding. Those are represented by models that can be used on the field and moved according to their rules until they complete their purpose or they are dispelled/banished.

The difference between an Endless Spell and an Invocation is that the former is usually summoned by wizards but can be unbound by any enemy wizard in range or later dispelled by any wizard or priest. Invocations, instead, cannot be unbound and can be banished only by enemy priests. Wizards can also lose control of their spells under certain conditions.

Factions that have these entities usually come in boxes with three models, but there are some generic ones that can be used by any army.

The faction terrain is an awesome terrain piece that you can set up before the start of the game, providing some bonus to your army or hinder your enemies. And monsters or other units can crush to rubble.

The Endless Spells have a point cost associated in matched play, but the faction terrain is (usually) free to use.

Not all armies have Endless Spells/Invocations, terrain or both, but this does not represent an obstacle to the army. Some, at certain conditions, can take the Endless Spells of other factions.

Start Collecting Boxes

Start Collecting boxes represent the cheapest way of getting your hands on the miniatures for a given faction.

Having an amazing Start Collecting box for an army will make it much easier to cheaply start an army.

Most Start Collecting boxes represent a bargain and are useful even if you purchase multiple copies of the same box. Some others can be a bit more disappointing.

We have an overview of the Start Collecting boxes to help you out (value, units etc). If you follow the links in the table on that page, you can also find reviews for the specific start collecting boxes.

Tables and table legend


Below you can find a table for each grand alliance.

A note on the tables:

The table contains a link to the Battletome, Endless Spell, Terrain Feature and Start collecting in case they have them.

The Age of the Battletome shows when the latest battletome was released for that army.

Age of models is a personal comment on how recently the model line was updated. Some armies still have metal or resin models (Skaven) and some are completely new models (Lumineth).

“Where are the rules” section represents whether the battletome represents the only place where you can find rules specific to that army or you need at least another book (like a White Dwarf article or Broken Realms campaign book) to expand on the army rules. “All over the place” represents a higher number of books required. More details can be found in the faction specific section.

Finally, the “Power level” represents how a specific faction fared recently in tournaments or the perceived power level. Until official tournaments will return back in full swing it will be difficult to understand how a faction can react to the evolving meta, so the value is only indicative. 

Chaos Army Table

ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Beasts of ChaosBeasts-of-Chaos-Battletome-smallEndless-Spells-beasts-smallTerrain-beasts-of-chaos-smallStart-Collecting-beast-of-chaos-small9/2018Getting agedBattletome onlyLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Blades of KhorneBattletome-Khorne-smallEndless-Spells-Khorne-smallTerrain-Feature-Khorne-smallStart-Collect-Khorne-small3/2019Somewhat NewBattletome onlyLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Disciples of TzeentchDisciples-of-Tzeentch-Battletome-smallDisciples-of-Tzeentch-Endless-Spells-smallStart-Collect-Tzeentch-small1/2020Somewhat NewBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Hedonites of SlaaneshBT_HOSSlaanesh-Endless-Spells-SmallSlaanesh-Terrain-SmallSlaanesh-Start-Collect-small2/2021NewBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Maggotkin of NurgleBattletome-Nurgle-SmallTerrain-Nurgle-SmallStart-Collect-Nurgle-Maggot-Small1/2018Somewhat NewAll over the placeAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
SkavenSkaven-Battletome-SmallSkaven-Endless-Spell-SmallSkaven-Terrain-Feature-smallSkaven-Start-collecting-small2/2019OldBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Slaves to DarknessBattletome new versionendlessspellsSTDNew Start Collecting Slaves to Darkness12/2019Somewhat NewBattletome and other booksLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon

Death Army Table

ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Flesh-Eater CourtsFec-Battletome-smallFec-endless-spells-smallFeC-Terrain-smallFec-Start-Collecting-small2/2019Getting AgedBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
NighthauntNighthaunt-Battletome-smallNighthaunt-Endless-Spells-SmallAge-of-Sigmar-Starter-set-small7/2018NewBattletome and other booksLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Ossiarch BonereapersOssiarch-Bonereapers-FeatureBonereapers Endless SpellsBonereapers Terrain11/2019NewBattletome and other booksHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Soulblight GravelordsBT_SGSC_SoulblightGravelords5/2021NewBattletome onlyAverage

Destruction Army Table

ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Gloomspite GitzGloomspite-Tome-smallGloomspite-Endless-Spells-smallGloomspite-Terrain-smallSC_GG1/2019Somewhat NewBattletome and other booksLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
MawtribesMawtribes BattletomeMawpotBeastclaw-Start-small11/2019A bit oldBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Orruk WarclansBT_OrrukWarclans_2021Ironjawz-Start-small09/2021Somewhat newBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Sons of BehematBT_SOB10/2020NewBattletome and other booksHigh

Order Army Table

ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Cities of Sigmar CoS-Battletome-smallCoS-Start-Collect-small10/2019A bit oldAll over the placeHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Daughters of KhaineBT_DOKES_DOKSC_DOK2/2021Somewhat NewBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
FyreslayersSlayers-Battletome-smallSlayers-Endless-Spells-smallSlayers-Terrain-smallSlayers-Start-Collect-small4/2019NewBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Idoneth DeepkinIdoneth-Battletome-smallIdoneth-Terrain-smallIdoneth-Start-Collect-small4/2018NewBattletome and other booksHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Kharadron OverlordsBT_KOKO-Start-collect-small1/2020NewSomewhatHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Lumineth Realm-lordsBT_LRLES_LRLTF_LRL3/2021NewBattletome and other booksHigh
SeraphonBT_SERTF_SERSeraphon-Start-Collect-small3/2020OldBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Stormcast EternalsBT_StormcastEternals_2021Stormcast-Endless-Spells-smallStormcast-Start-Collect-small09/2021Somewhat newBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
SylvanethSylvaneth-Battletome-smallSylvaneth-Endless-spells-smallSylvaneth-Terrain-smallSylvaneth-Start-collect-small7/2019Not new but not oldBattletome onlyLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon

Chaos Faction Armies Overview


ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Beasts of ChaosBeasts-of-Chaos-Battletome-smallEndless-Spells-beasts-smallTerrain-beasts-of-chaos-smallStart-Collecting-beast-of-chaos-small9/2018Getting agedBattletome onlyLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Blades of KhorneBattletome-Khorne-smallEndless-Spells-Khorne-smallTerrain-Feature-Khorne-smallStart-Collect-Khorne-small3/2019Somewhat NewBattletome onlyLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Disciples of TzeentchDisciples-of-Tzeentch-Battletome-smallDisciples-of-Tzeentch-Endless-Spells-smallStart-Collect-Tzeentch-small1/2020Somewhat NewBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Hedonites of SlaaneshBT_HOSSlaanesh-Endless-Spells-SmallSlaanesh-Terrain-SmallSlaanesh-Start-Collect-small2/2021NewBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Maggotkin of NurgleBattletome-Nurgle-SmallTerrain-Nurgle-SmallStart-Collect-Nurgle-Maggot-Small1/2018Somewhat NewAll over the placeAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
SkavenSkaven-Battletome-SmallSkaven-Endless-Spell-SmallSkaven-Terrain-Feature-smallSkaven-Start-collecting-small2/2019OldBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Slaves to DarknessBattletome new versionendlessspellsSTDNew Start Collecting Slaves to Darkness12/2019Somewhat NewBattletome and other booksLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon

Beasts of Chaos

The Beasts of Chaos Battletome was released in September 2018 grouping together in one single book the old Beastmen army from Warhammer Fantasy with the addition of several Monsters of Chaos.

Before becoming the “Beasts of Chaos”, in Age of Sigmar they were split in different groups each with their own rules, but they are now only keywords representing which special trait certain units have.

They play mostly as a horde army, attacking fast and brutally, not caring about the losses. They can be divided in the following categories:

  • Brayherd: these are your most numerous units, masses of half-men/half-goats tearing apart their enemies but also masters of ambush tactics. They are the most balanced group, containing anything from ranged attacks to cavalry, from melee heroes to wizards. For some reason Tzaangors, beastmen devoted to the Chaos God Tzeentch, belong to this group as well.
  • Warherd: these are your most ferocious and violent of the gor-kin, mostly represented by the more elite Bullgors, minotaur like creatures, and their monstrous allies.
  • Thunderscorn: half Ogre/half Dragon, the Dragon-Ogors of the Thunderscorn herds are ferocious opponents originally from Azyr, the realm of Heaven, but hunted out of it by Sigmar and now seeking revenge. Unfortunately, in game they also represent the smallest subgroup and the one with more outdated models.
  • Monsters of Chaos: this group really is made up of various chaotic monsters that are attracted by the violence and degeneration created by the Beasts of Chaos in their hunt to destroy any civilization. They are wildly different, consisting of packs of warhounds as well as majestic chimeras.

They can be further divided in three subfactions (Allherd, Darkwalkers and Gavespawn), but they also have both Endless Spells and Faction Terrain.

One particularity of Beasts of Chaos, is the ability to be taken in any other Chaos God by using specific battalions that, while they dictate which units can be taken, assign a keyword to all units within increasing the options available.

The Start Collecting: Beasts of Chaos Box represents solid value (about 33%). Picking up more than one is an option, but the great part of the cost is coming from the big monster, that may or may not be a good investment.

Apart from a warband in Warhammer Underworlds and spells/scenery, Beasts of Chaos proper have not received new miniatures since Age of Sigmar started and some aged not particularly well with several resin models still available (or same sculpts but in metal).

The exception to this rule is some beastmen models devoted to the other Chaos Gods but available also in Beasts of Chaos armies, like the Tzaangors from Tzeentch or the latest Slaangors from Slaanesh. Pestigors from Nurgle and Khorngors from Khorne don’t currently have a model or rules.

At the moment, Beasts of Chaos rules are extremely fun to play but underpowered and you will struggle in several matchings.

Cost-wise, as many older armies, they are relatively cheap to collect, but being mainly a horde army, you will need many models (and you will have to paint them in the end).

Blades of Khorne

Khorne was one of the first battletomes to ever be created as part of the Starter Set for Age of Sigmar 1.0. Its second iteration in 2017 established a new pattern for battletomes with new updated rules and allegiance abilities, while the most recent iteration, in 2019, brings Khorne into Age of Sigmar 2.0.

Blades of Khorne represent both the mortal (more human) and demonic side of Khorne’s followers. Khorne is the Chaos God of violence, taker of skulls, and their armies represent exactly this. But don’t forget Khorne does not care whence the blood flows from, so be prepared to sacrifice your own units to honour the Skull Throne. Of course, blood red is the typical colour of Khorne armies.

Khorne has access to both Endless “Spells” (in this case flavoured as “judgments” as Khorne will not accept magic being used by his followers) and terrain. There are several subfactions available called Slaughterhosts: 4 of them in the Blades of Khorne battletome, and 2 in the Wrath of the Everchosen book (Flayed and Baleful Lords). The latter are not necessary to play Khorne but are more recent takes on certain aspects of the army.

Blades of Khorne players will also have access to two different Start Collecting boxes, one dedicated to the mortal side (Khorne Bloodbound Start Collecting) and one to their demonic counterpart (Daemons of Khorne Start Collecting). The former is a good box and the only way to get a hold on some miniatures but suffers from being composed of mono-pose models with no alternative weapon options available. The latter is a good product with high value to purchase multiple times.

Khorne has a good mix of old and new miniatures, with most miniatures released in the last 5 years.

Currently Khorne armies are a one pony trick that can be successful in certain situations but will struggle in others.

Cost-wise the army is well priced, but any mortal army would need to consider investing in daemonic units to summon during the game.

Disciples of Tzeentch

The latest Tzeentch battletome combined all rules previously scattered between FAQs and other books in a really competitive book.

Tzeentch is the Chaos God of Change; subterfuges and deceit being his weapons. His armies are adept to magic, represented in the many manifestations of wizards and spellcasters, including the humbler units. As all Chaos Gods, even Tzeentch armies are divided in mortals (humans, not without some mutations) and demons. Birds and blue hues are recurring symbols of the Changer of Ways.

Apart from new Endless Spells (but no terrain), Tzeentch got recent models not long ago, especially linked to the board game Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower. Most subfactions (they are called Change Covens) are available in the battletome itself, but two more recent ones are available also in Wrath of the Everchosen book (Unbound Flex and Cult of a Thousand Eyes). 

Currently, there’s only one Start Collecting box available: Daemons of Tzeentch Start Collecting. This represents the daemonic units that can be summoned when enough magic is cast and a fine addition in any Tzeentch army.

At the moment Tzeentch reliance on magic makes any army extremely powerful and able to play (and rule) all phases. There are different reliable magic armies to contend the primacy with, but any other will suffer against Tzeentch spellcasters.

Cost-wise, Tzeentch armies will need a few daemons, at least for summoning, but since their daemonic side is currently more powerful than the mortal side, you may want to start directly there and invest in mortals at a later time (or just go for the units you think look the best).

Hedonites of Slaanesh

Hedonites of Slaanesh are one of the latest armies to receive not one but two battletomes within Age of Sigmar 2.0 lifecycle, making most of its army recently updated. The daemons came in 2019, and the mortals followed in 2021, refreshing the entire range and introducing new (and old) named characters to the fray.

Slaanesh armies are extremely fragile so they prefer to hit first and hit hard. Their speed is unmatched in the mortal realms and they have several rules that allow to fight first in the combat phase. However, be careful with the retaliation as the low defence of most units would mean that anything surviving your first charge can represent a high risk of annihilation. Use your speed to control the board and commit to the fight when you are sure to win.

Slaanesh is the God of Excess and purple hues are usually used to colour his armies.

Slaanesh armies are divided in 3 major subfactions: Pretenders, Invaders and Godseekers, however in White Dwarf magazine, issue October 2019, was introduced as an alternative one: The Host of Syll’Eske. It was popular until the latest battletome release. Each major subfaction received an extra keyworded allegiance in the Wrath of the Everchosen book to further expand certain traits of those armies.

To play a current army of Slaanesh you need only the most recent battletome together with some Endless Spells and a terrain piece.

Slaanesh has currently only one Start Collecting box available, based on his demonic units and, considering the rest of the range is extremely new, it may be a bit before the mortals get their own Start Collecting box.

As mentioned above almost all Slaanesh miniatures have been re-sculpted in recent years with the exceptions of some demons.

The current battletome, while removing some of the bad aspects that negatively influenced playing that army when the first battletome was released, it generated so far a lukewarm reception. Only time will tell if it’s just a matter of tuning point cost before it is good.

Cost-wise, as all new armies, Slaanesh is on the expensive side. Considering you also need extra daemons for summoning and some juicy Keeper of Secrets for the high damage output.

Maggotkin of Nurgle

The Maggotkin of Nurgle Battletome is one of the oldest battletomes released in Age of Sigmar 2.0 and as such suffers the consequences to be one of the earliest adopters. An update is probably due soon.

With the recent expansions, Nurgle has now the smallest model range between the four main Chaos factions, despite their 2018 release. Unfortunately, this statement is true only if we look at the proper range of Nurgle mortals and daemons. As all Chaos Gods armies, Nurgle can enlist also Slaves to Darkness mortals by assigning them the proper mark and Beasts of Chaos in the right battalion. In addition, Nurgle can also enlist Skaven of the Clans Pestilens, making it one of the most complex list building exercises.

Their complexity is further increased by the fact that all these miniatures have their rules in their own battletome, where many synergies useful to Nurgle can be found. And as one of the earliest battletomes, there are no subfactions in the main book itself. Instead, Wrath of the Everchosen introduces four new allegiances that provide new tools for Nurgle armies so that is a book the followers of the God of Pestilence may be highly interested in. Those allegiances are:

  • Munificent Wanderers
  • Droning Guard
  • Blessed Sons
  • Drowned Men

Nurgle is the benevolent Chaos God of pestilence and disease, overjoying in the new life arising from decay and decomposition of rotten corpses. The way they play is to present one of the toughest defences available in game combined with many tricks to make them extremely fast in an otherwise slow army. Green hues are the favourite used by Nurgle armies.

Nurgle was one of the first factions to get their own terrain feature, but sadly no Endless Spells.

Two start collecting boxes are available, one representing the mortals (mutated and corrupted humans) and one representing the demons. Both are really good deals:

  1. Start Collecting Maggotkin of Nurgle
  2. Start Collecting Daemons of Nurgle

Nurgle is due an update soon. Broken Realms: Teclis was probably just an appetizer on what is yet to come for these disgusting soldiers.

Their armies are good and solid, with lots of potential but currently not reliable tournament takers.

Cost-wise, Nurgle is still an affordable army, with the usual consideration about expanding into daemons for summoning.

Skaven

Skaven represents a race of ratmen followers of the Great Horned Rat, the newly ascended Chaos God. This army has its origin in Warhammer Fantasy and it’s one of the most representative and unique factions that appeared in that game and setting. They have also a huge and diverse range with different takes on the life of mutated rats: from stealthy assassins to stitched together monstrosities, from highly technical (but unreliable) weapons to hundreds of rusty pikes.

It is really difficult to describe Skaven playstyle as there are so many options available, but mostly you will have some hordes units to choke your opponent and allow your ranged or more elite units to surgically remove the opponent key pieces.

As opposite to other factions, Skaven have subfactions represented by keywords rather than proper allegiances, meaning that they don’t have all benefits of well-structured rules while having the flexibility to mix and match from different factions. The main clans described in the battletome are:

  • Masterclan (rulers of the Skaven)
  • Clan Verminus (hordes of rats)
  • Clan Pestilens (plague monks and other Nurgle-related rats)
  • Clan Moulders (rat monsters!)
  • Clan Skryre (experimental weapons)
  • Clan Eshin (stealthy and skirmish-y assassins)

Interesting enough, Skaven have not been mentioned much in recent books, so all their rules can be found in the battletome and the FAQs.

Their model range is huge, and while some outstanding miniatures are available, also quite the opposite, in metal and resin, is still somehow sold directly by GW. That said, they did get Endless Spells and Faction Terrain with the latest battletome (and a new hero).

Despite the many clans available, only Pestilens have their own box set: the Start Collecting: Skaven Pestilens. If you are into diseased rats or thinking to branch out with Nurgle (Pestilens units can also use Nurgle allegiances) is a decent buy (review of it here).

Not all Skaven lists are extremely competitive but there is some fuel to get comfortably on the top tables.

Cost-wise it really depends how deeply you want to poke the rat nest: the entire range will cost you a fortune and you cannot even count on third party retailers’ discount as most units are actually sold only by GW, but a single 2000pt competitive army is on the affordable side, especially considering the prolific second-hand market.

Slaves to Darkness

The Slaves to Darkness Battletome was one of the last released of the first wave of Age of Sigmar 2.0 tomes, and fixed an otherwise pretty useless Everchosen tome released 4 years earlier.

Slaves to Darkness form the masses of Chaos followers, mostly mortals or champions, either dedicated to a single Chaos God or undivided and therefore not yet aligned to a specific god. Archaon the Everchosen is the rightful leader of this faction, as he destroyed the Old World and is the favourite of the Chaos Gods, their Everchosen.

He is not, however, their pawn, and even the Chaos Gods fear Archaon as they were never able to control him despite all their efforts. Archaon’s dominion, the Eightpoints, is the centre of the skirmish game set in Age of Sigmar: Warcry.

With Warcry‘s release, Slaves to Darkness got many new miniatures in the form of cultists or specialised monsters. Despite so, the core of Slaves to Darkness is still old miniatures. Slaves units can take the mark of any other Chaos God and therefore be used in other Chaos armies.

As many other Chaos factions, Slaves also saw an expansion in the book dedicated to their leader: Wrath of the Everchosen. Apart from a brand new allegiance cross-faction called The Legion of Chaos Ascendant, that deserves its own section, there is a Varanguard-based allegiance called Knights of the Empty Throne, Varanguard being the most elite units serving Archaon himself and representing the best of the best of all mortal warriors that die to achieve that honour.

The main battletome provides 4 subfactions (called Damned Legions) with a fifth one been introduced in Broken Realms: Morathi that gives all Warcry cultists the battleline keyword.

White Dwarf 468 adds some Age of Sigmar 3.0 rules including Battle Tactics, Grand Strategies and Core Battalions.

Slaves have Endless Spells, but no terrain. They also got a new discounted set in Slaves to Darkness Start Collecting Box: all new miniatures, but mono-pose and with no weapon options available in the older kits that still coexist.

Apart from Warcry and the new Start Collecting, Slaves to Darkness miniatures are starting to age and some would really benefit from an update.

It is difficult to calculate the real power of Slaves to Darkness armies as Chaos Marauders are one of the best units in the game but often used in other branded Chaos factions. Despite so, you have many options available to you and the undivided are slowly rising in power.

Cost wise Slaves to Darkness are a safe investment if you are a Chaos follower as many of those units can be used in many armies. Completing your collection may require some investment, but with careful planning you can have the core of 5 different armies in one single blow…

Legion of Chaos Ascendant

An honourable mention goes to Legion of Chaos Ascendant from the Wrath of the Everchosen book.

It is not really a faction per se, but more an army that can use any unit with the Chaos and Daemons keyword led by Be’Lakor the first Everchosen now dethroned by Archaon and forced to collaborate with him.

This allegiance, described in the Wrath of the Everchosen with 4 thematic battalions, provides rules to combine Daemon princes with any Nurgle, Slaanesh, Tzeentch or Slaanesh daemons for a colourful army. Even some Skaven can be currently used in this army.

And Broken Realms: Be’lakor is the third book of the Broken Realms series, centered on the leader of this army, so we will need to wait and see what else is planned for them.

Death Faction Armies Overview


ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Flesh-Eater CourtsFec-Battletome-smallFec-endless-spells-smallFeC-Terrain-smallFec-Start-Collecting-small2/2019Getting AgedBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
NighthauntNighthaunt-Battletome-smallNighthaunt-Endless-Spells-SmallAge-of-Sigmar-Starter-set-small7/2018NewBattletome and other booksLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Ossiarch BonereapersOssiarch-Bonereapers-FeatureBonereapers Endless SpellsBonereapers Terrain11/2019NewBattletome and other booksHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Soulblight GravelordsBT_SGSC_SoulblightGravelords5/2021NewBattletome onlyAverage

Flesh-eater Courts

Flesh-Eater Courts are a cannibalistic army of ghouls and other vampiric beings under the delusion of being grand nobles and knights travelling the world to fight evil and restore order. As such, they are a bit of a loose cannon and don’t follow Nagash’s orders directly. Some venerate him as an equal to Sigmar, some despise him and fight his armies.

Flesh-Eater Courts are born from the ashes of the Vampire Counts army from Warhammer Fantasy, gathering the more feral aspects of the vampires and their allies and providing a cool narrative around them. The result is a really fun army to play, but a limited range of models mostly 10 years old, except the Archregent (a new leader), Endless Spells and terrain faction released with the updated Battletome in early 2019.

To some people, Flesh-Eater Courts are an homage to the old Bretonnia army, at least in its ideals.

Flesh-Eater subfactions, called Grand Courts, and their rules, are all conveniently located in their battletome (and FAQ). A new battalion was introduced in Broken Realms: Teclis but is not mandatory to play this army.

Almost all models are available from 3 single kits, making their Start Collecting box a must-buy with excellent value for multiple purchases too. For more details you can see the review here.

Playing Flesh-Eater Courts allows you to submerge your enemy in hordes of tiny ghouls or smash him with powerful monsters thanks to allegiances that allow you to field more than the maximum limit of Behemoths. Either way Flesh-Eater Courts has been at the top of many tables thanks to their insane amount of damage potential and ability to fight twice per phase. They have been nerfed a bit since, but they remain a good contender and an easy to collect army thanks to the Start Collecting box.

This also makes them a relatively cheap army to collect with limited summoning abilities meaning no extra costs are hidden outside of your 2000 points. The downside is that the limited number of kits means you will be painting the same models over and over…

Nighthaunt

The Nighthaunt army was born together with Age of Sigmar 2.0 to represent a new threat the Stormcast Eternals, the paladins of Sigmar, needed to face. Their inspiration comes from a few Vampire Counts spectral models (e.g. Tomb Banshee and Cairn Wraith) surviving from Warhammer Fantasy and expanded to obtain one of the best looking and cohesive armies in Age of Sigmar.

Unfortunately, despite the good looking models and the many options available to Nighthaunt players, current rules are underwhelming, to say the least. The core concept is there but the battletome is in dire need of an update together with plenty of warscrolls. Before Age of Sigmar 3.0 you could use many of these models in other armies, however this is not possible anymore.

Nighthaunt armies are made of different ghosts or spectres representing the various levels of punishment that Nagash distributes on the souls of “perceived” deceased criminals. In game this is represented by units with a decent unchangeable defence and the ability to fly ignoring all terrain features.

Nighthaunt received two new subfactions (called Processions) in Broken Realms: Be’Lakor (The Emerald Host and Reikenor’s Condemned). They don’t have terrain features, but they do have Endless Spells, recently rewritten.

Nighthaunts don’t have a specific Start Collecting box, however you can get several models in the AoS 2.0 Starter sets.

This makes this army cheap-ish to collect, despite the high count of models. Many are push-to-fit miniatures, meaning that, while difficult to convert and mostly mono-pose, they are also part of the cheapest range and also used in many other spin-off games (Warhammer Underworlds) or board-games produced with GW license.

Ossiarch Bonereapers

Ossiarch Bonereapers take the concept of skeletons to a completely different level. They are not simple skeletons resurrected by some necromancer, but rather bone constructs filled with the best martial souls Nagash had access to and fielded as his elite army.

Ossiarch armies can be comprised of just a few models because of their elitist nature, ranging from infantry to cavalry, from terrifying bone catapults to monstrous constructs. At the helm is Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis and loyal general at the service of Nagash. One of the best martial leaders to ever fight in the Mortal Realms.

To some, the Ossiarch are the spiritual successors of the Old World Tomb Kings army while differing in many aspects.

There are six subfactions in the main battletome that are all you need to play this army. If you want some more narrative touch, White Dwarf issue 453 introduced Vokmortian’s Tithe Legion, and Broken Realm: Teclis a new battalion.

Ossiarch have both Endless Spells and faction terrain.

Currently no Start Collecting! is available apart from a limited edition battle box released together with Broken Realms: Teclis and focusing on the cavalry side of the army.

The range is almost completely new: only Nagash, Arkhan and the Morghasts have been pulled out of Legions of Nagash and found a new home with the Ossiarch (and those where models created just before Age of Sigmar launched).

Ossiarch armies are powerful and while they may suffer certain matchings, in general they are a force to be reckoned with.

Cost-wise they are on the expensive side considering the lack of discounted boxes and the age of the army.

Soulblight Gravelords

Soulblight Gravelords basically replace Legions of Nagash. They are a powerful army composed of vampires, skeletons and zombies led by some of the most powerful generals Nagash ever had. While Nagash technically in the lore is… indisposed, he can still be used in both this or an Ossiarch army.

While vampires are at the top of the command chain, some are more powerful than others and lead entire dynasties or legions (remainders of Legions of Nagash). However it is not unusual to have minor lords, like Wight Kings, lead armies of Deathrattle skeletons to war.

There are five main dynasties, that each matches a powerful lord:

  • Legion of Blood led by Neferata
  • Legion of Night led by Mannfred von Carstein
  • Vyrkos Dynasty derived by Belladamma Volga
  • Kastelai Dynasty led by Prince Vhordrai
  • Avengorii Dynasty ruled by Lauka Vai

The main battletome is all you need to play this army. There are no faction terrain or endless spells. But you can use many of the various Shyishan spells from the various expansions.

There is a new Start Collecting box available for Soulblight composed of a Wight King on Skeletan Steed and 2 of the oldest models remaining in the army: Grave Guards and Black Knights.

The range has been recently updated and only few models are remaining from the old Legions of Nagash. Some models can also be found in Cursed City if you have access to it. In particular the Vyrkos and Avengorii dynasty are completely new. If you have an old Legions of Nagash army, just double check the base size and most miniatures can still be used.

It is too early to say how powerful Soulblight will be in matched play, but they have the cards to be a good competitive army. There are winners and losers, some buffing and resurrecting abilities have been changed reducing their effectiveness and others have been simplified to be usable more often giving an edge in some matches.

Many old miniatures are still available, at least in the second hand market. The new range is not too expensive considering skeletons and zombies come in boxes of 20, the existence of a Start Collecting box and comparing to more recent armies.

Legion of Grief

This army cannot be used in Matched Play in Age of Sigmar 3.0 since its book, Forbidden Power, is not legal any more.

Destruction Faction Armies Overview


ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Gloomspite GitzGloomspite-Tome-smallGloomspite-Endless-Spells-smallGloomspite-Terrain-smallSC_GG1/2019Somewhat NewBattletome and other booksLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon
MawtribesMawtribes BattletomeMawpotBeastclaw-Start-small11/2019A bit oldBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Orruk WarclansBT_OrrukWarclans_2021Ironjawz-Start-small09/2021Somewhat newBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Sons of BehematBT_SOB10/2020NewBattletome and other booksHigh

Gloomspite Gitz

Gloomspite Gitz is one of the craziest armies out there. Initially, Orcs & Goblins from Warhammer Fantasy were split in different Orks and Grots (the name of Goblins in AoS) factions. Then, Gloomspite reunited all Grots and friends under one single banner (technically Skagrott’s but every Loonboss wants to be at the top). The result is a new battletome with an extremely diverse and fun army.

Broken Realms: Kragnos introduced three new allegiance abilities for Gloomspite, replacing the information previously available only in White Dwarf magazines. These are mentioned above, together with the list of the different subgroups composing this army:

  • Moonclan Grots: these are your usual small black-hooded green guys. They are used in droves and can employ different tactics. They are the core of the army, with the best magic casters and the only named character.
  • Squigs: while technically not a faction in itself but part of the Moonclan, Squigs are fungi bred for many reasons, but the red round ones with sharp teeth you can see ridden to battle are the most feisty. Jaws of Mork is the new allegiance dedicated to them.
  • Troggoths: these are the Trolls of old, now uglier and badder. While there are not many models and some abilities are in the main battletome, it is possible to field an entire army of only Troggoths using Glogg’s Megamob allegiance.
  • Spiderfang: if you are arachnophobe, this is not the army for you. It consists entirely of spider riders, including the biggest centrepiece available in the army fully loaded of grots. Thanks to the allegiance Grimscuttle Tribes, it is now possible to field an army entirely of Spider Riders with decent results.
  • Gargants: for some reason the small giants, called Aleguzzler Gargants, have been included in this army. They now fit better in Sons of Behemat.

Gloomspite have both Endless Spells and faction terrain.

Gitz also have a brand new Start Collecting set that combines some of the newest models in the range.

Gloomspite Gitz range has seen many replacements and some additions in 2019 when the new battletome was released. The only side that did not receive any love is the Spiderfang, whose warscrolls are also between the worst in the army on top of some old models.

Gloomspite are extremely funny to play, in particular the randomness of squigs makes them highly unpredictable. However, they will rarely get to the top tables exactly because of their unpredictability. But don’t let this stop you from trying a fun army!

Despite being new, Gloomspite Gitz have average prices and is not an expensive army. You can find most models available through third-party retailers. Few extremely interesting models (concept-wise) are available in resin from ForgeWorld and while provided with warscrolls and mostly up to date point costs, there’s no way to know in advance when ForgeWorld will drop support of these models and they will silently disappear into oblivion. Until then, you can still enjoy the only piece of artillery currently available in the Destruction faction.

Orruk Warclans

Orruk Warclans 2021 battletome

The other side of the Warhammer Fantasy Orcs & Goblins army, the Orcs, were also split into different factions. Some disappeared forever, some were created anew and all of this was recently merged in the Orruk Warclans.

Orruk Warclans is a battletome that allows you to play a combined force of Orruks (the AoS name for Orcs) of all types (the Big Waaagh!), the Bonesplitters (naked savage Orruks) or the Ironjawz (the best and strongest Orruks clad in heavy bulky plate). The best thing is that all three ways are perfectly viable options to play your army, so if you prefer one side over another, you can still play it with great efficacy.

In 2021 the Kruleboyz were added to the army, representing the Mork side of Orruks (cunning) and giving a fourth allegiance to the army plus some ranged options to a Big Waaagh!.

On the plus side Kragnos, previously available to every Destruction army, is now fully integrated in the Orruk Warclans army with full access to their allegiances (he can still be used in other Destruction armies).

The combination in one single tome provided new options to the Orruks, and the addition of Kruleboyz brand new models, but unfortunately neither Endless Spells nor faction terrain. While competitive, the individual ranges are somewhat limited, and while Ironjawz are a recent army (2016), Bonesplitterz are a legacy from Warhammer Fantasy and some models are ageing noticeably. Kruleboyz are the poster boys of Age of Sigmar 3.0 so much of the focus of the third edition is in this range of new models entirely playable on its own.

There is no Start Collecting box for Bonesplitterz, but the Start Collecting for Ironjawz is quite a solid purchase, while Kruleboyz are available in multiple Starter sets for Age of Sigmar 3.0.

We already said that all four allegiances are perfectly viable and competitive, however the Big Waaagh! allows to cover each other weakness spots providing a more flexible and versatile force.

Cost-wise Orruks are average, on the affordable side.

Ogor Mawtribes

Once upon a time there were the Ogre Kingdoms (Warhammer Fantasy). In the Age of Sigmar they were split in different factions with different levels of rules support. Then the Ogor Mawtribes battletome came and reunited all surviving kits in one single cohesive force. Or two…

Ogors (Ogre name in AoS) are giant humanoid people constantly hungry: they are either eating or searching for their next meal. They are roughly divided into two types: the savage Beastclaw Raiders condemned to be always followed by the Everwinter, a supernatural blizzard that freezes anything behind their path, even them if they linger too long, and the Gutbusters, the tribal Warglutts roaming the Mortal Realms. While you can play a mixed force, thanks to keywords, a Beastclaw Raiders only force is still perfectly viable and pretty strong in the game.

Ogors have six subfactions called Mawtribes, that direct in which direction you want to assemble your army, i.e. which units receive direct benefits from the Mawtribe rules.

They have a terrain feature, but no Endless Spells.

The Start Collecting box for Beastclaw Raiders is a solid purchase if you are interested in that side of the army, as it contains all things that you would naturally need. No discounted boxes are available for the Gutbusters.

Ogor miniatures come from Warhammer Fantasy, and while the Beastclaw range is around 10 years old and still solid models (with few exceptions), the rest of the range is much older. They are definitely due an update and, looking at the quality of the Warhammer Underworlds warband, we are definitely looking forward to that. Note that that warband has access to a better Icebrow Hunter and Frost Sabre model at a decent price.

Beastclaw armies have been doing well in tournaments taking full advantage of their recent rules. Gutbusters are not so lucky, but mixed armies also perform well.

If the age of the models does not discourage you, Ogors have decent prices compared to other armies, and the fact that literally half of your army in points can be composed of a single start collecting box, makes it even cheaper.

 Sons of Behemat

Sons of Behemat is the latest Destruction army composed of basically… 2 giant kits. And for giant we mean really giant: the leaders of the army, the Mega-Gargants, are the tallest models ever made for Age of Sigmar.

The old Gargant makes the battleline requirements, the brand-new kit has 3 assembly options, so in total 4 warscrolls, the smallest for an Age of Sigmar army. Mega-Gargants can also be used as mercenaries in any other army (each grand alliance has a named character they can recruit).

White Dwarf 467 adds some Age of Sigmar 3.0 rules including Battle Tactics, Grand Strategies and Core Battalions.

There are no battalions, Endless Spells (or wizards for what it’s worth), faction terrain or Start Collecting boxes (and we doubt there will ever be one). There are however 3 subfactions, but those are determined based on the general you choose.

Sons of Behemat have strong rules being able to basically own whichever objective they desire. They suffer in some matchings but are otherwise really powerful.

The giant size of the miniatures is reflected by the giant cost of each one, the most expensive model available for Age of Sigmar (excluding ForgeWorld models). The good news is that you can field an entire army with only 7-8 models. The bad news is that it will cost you the same or a bit more of 2000pt equivalent in other armies.

Order Faction Armies Overview

ArmyBattletomeEndless SpellsTerrain FeatureSC BoxAge of battletomeAge of modelsWhere are the rules?Power level
Cities of Sigmar CoS-Battletome-smallCoS-Start-Collect-small10/2019A bit oldAll over the placeHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Daughters of KhaineBT_DOKES_DOKSC_DOK2/2021Somewhat NewBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
FyreslayersSlayers-Battletome-smallSlayers-Endless-Spells-smallSlayers-Terrain-smallSlayers-Start-Collect-small4/2019NewBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Idoneth DeepkinIdoneth-Battletome-smallIdoneth-Terrain-smallIdoneth-Start-Collect-small4/2018NewBattletome and other booksHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Kharadron OverlordsBT_KOKO-Start-collect-small1/2020NewSomewhatHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Lumineth Realm-lordsBT_LRLES_LRLTF_LRL3/2021NewBattletome and other booksHigh
SeraphonBT_SERTF_SERSeraphon-Start-Collect-small3/2020OldBattletome onlyHighCheck Miniatures on Amazon
Stormcast EternalsBT_StormcastEternals_2021Stormcast-Endless-Spells-smallStormcast-Start-Collect-small09/2021Somewhat newBattletome onlyAverageCheck Miniatures on Amazon
SylvanethSylvaneth-Battletome-smallSylvaneth-Endless-spells-smallSylvaneth-Terrain-smallSylvaneth-Start-collect-small7/2019Not new but not oldBattletome onlyLowCheck Miniatures on Amazon

Cities of Sigmar

At the beginning of Age of Sigmar, many Warhammer Fantasy armies were split in factions of various sizes. You may have known them with multiple names like Free Peoples, Collegiate Arcane, etc. and while some still retain those keywords for synergy purposes, they are now all grouped together in the Cities of Sigmar battletome and can be played in any of the original six cities or their expansions.

The remaining kits of these Warhammer Fantasy armies are now playable in Cities of Sigmar:

  • Empire: these are your standard humans armed with anything from swords to guns.
  • Dark Elves: these are your pointy-eared friends, only the baddies. Not all of them joined Sigmar, most of the women became Daughters of Khaine and follow Morathi.
  • Dwarves: As the name implies these guys are a bit short but well-armed.
  • High Elves: the traditional “good” side of the Elves (arguable). Not many kits survived, and their spiritual successor Lumineth Realm-Lords casts a shadow on their future.
  • Wood Elves: the third type of slim guys, these are the one more attuned with nature, with some amazing models of which only few survived. Half of their original range became Sylvaneth.

On top of that most Cities of Sigmar can take Stormcast Eternals using the 1 in every 4 units rule. Basically, for every 4 units, 1 of these can be from other armies depending on the city allegiance rule. The newly added units are treated as part of that city and not as allies.

Other noticeable recruits include Sylvaneth (Living City), Kharadron Overlords (Tempest’s Eye), Daughters of Khaine (Har Kuron) and Lumineth Realm-Lords (Settler’s Gain).

Cities of Sigmar have no actual allegiance or set of rules for a non-aligned city. You need to select a city and follow the rules for them. The main battletome contains six, but more have been added in other books, here is the list:

  • Hammerhal (battletome)
  • The Living City (battletome)
  • Greywater Fastness (battletome)
  • The Phoenicium (battletome)
  • Anvilguard (battletome)
  • Hallowheart (battletome)
  • Tempest’s Eye (battletome)
  • Misthåvn (Broken Realms: Morathi)
  • Har Kuron (Broken Realms: Morathi)
  • Settler’s Gain (Broken Realms: Teclis)

While technically not a City of Sigmar, as it was a precursor, a Lethisian Army tried to regroup units from different factions in a similar way. It did not attract many followers, however, and outside of narrative events within the Forbidden Power book, no one heard much of them.

There are currently two Start Collecting boxes available, one with Duardin (Dispossessed plus Ironweld Arsenal) and one with Aelves (mainly Scourgerunner Privateers).

The battletome Cities of Sigmar contains many models, but none have been released recently. In fact, none have been released since Age of Sigmar was born. The only exception are some heroes for the newest Warhammer Quest board game: Cursed City. Hoping that this is just the beginning of a revival for one of the most creative armies (which it might be with this news).

There is no faction terrain or proper Endless Spells, but Cities of Sigmar wizards can cast the Endless Spells from Malign Sorcery always empowered by their realm and therefore at their strongest.

Some cities have compelling rules and are able to take a top place at tournaments. Some other cities are more for fun, so you will need to follow your heart in choosing one but keep an eye on what is most efficient. Whichever you choose, there’s infinite possibilities for cool conversions.

Cost-wise, the models are old and as such can be found in the second-hand market easily. If you need them first-hand, then the GW store is your best option, as many models are not sold to retailers. Reaching 2000pt is easy and not super expensive, but collecting every single model available is a titanic task and probably not recommended considering that not all models will stay here forever…

Daughters of Khaine

Daughters of Khaine are the murderous followers of Morathi, the new goddess in town and powerful sorcerer. What started as a spin-off of Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elves army, is now one of the most powerful and characteristic Age of Sigmar armies.

Daughters of Khaine grouped together the blood-thirsty girls from the Dark Elves and extended the range with monstrosities created by Morathi on her image: female half-snake (Melusai) and harpies (Khinerai).

Daughters’ new battletome (2021, the previous one was from 2018) reinforced an already strong army with new options and provided new Endless Spells. It also gathers the new temple (subfaction) and Morathi warscroll previously introduced in the book Broken Realms: Morathi, so now the battletome is the only book that you need to play Daughters of Khaine.

The number of subfactions has now been increased to six, with some contenders to the throne of Hagg Nar, the most used temple.

Daughters recently obtained a new Start Collecting, that includes the majority of leader options available in the army. You will need to either magnetize or decide which options to assemble, but either way, at least 3 heroes are available to you, making it a good choice for multiple buys.

Daughters traditionally have been formed mostly of Witch Aelves units that are not only the oldest models in the army but also one of the most expensive battlelines in the game (pound per point). Now mixed or even heavy Melusai armies are also a competitive option, providing new models to the army but also slightly cheaper options. Whichever directions you go, Daughters is not a cheap army by any means, and probably one of the most expensive.

If we consider the power level, with Morathi being almost immortal and the different units having absurd damage potential, Daughters of Khaine are one of the top armies at the moment.

Fyreslayers

Fyreslayers are an Age of Sigmar army created expanding on the concept of Slayers from the Old World. They are a bunch of half-naked angry duardin (AoS language for dwarves) venerating Grimnir, their God who died while fighting Vulcatrix, godbeast and mother of all Salamanders. So now Fyreslayers are associated with lava and magma beasts that they ride into battle to literally turn their enemies to ashes .

The battletome contains 4 subfactions and rules for the Endless Spells and faction terrain available to the Fyreslayers.

A Start Collecting box available for the army is a mandatory purchase as it contains half of the heroes options and the main battleline unit. Each one of the three heroes available can be mounted on the Magmadroth, leaving the other 2 standing on foot. Note that the on-foot version is more popular than the mounted one.

Fyreslayer models are new, all created specifically for Age of Sigmar, but they suffer from very similar look and feel and limited warscroll options.

Their armies are relatively average price-wise, while on tournaments, depending on the matching, can do well. An able general will need to take advantage of their high defence and cover their slowness with accurate positioning.

Idoneth Deepkin

Idoneth Deepkin is another new army for Age of Sigmar based on Aelves living underwater and taming brute force sea monsters of any sort. If you have seen Aquaman the movie, you will be excused if your first urge is to buy this army and your first question is where are the giant crabs?

Idoneth lore is extremely interesting and compelling, as secluded communities hiding from everyone for fear of reprisal from Teclis that created them and saw the flaws in them, .

As one of the first battletomes in Age of Sigmar 2.0 they suffer from old rules, and while they do have a faction terrain and six subfactions (called enclaves), they do not have Endless Spells.

Broken Realms: Morathi brings new updated warscrolls, point costs and one battalion, the former of which are important to play Idoneth today opening an opportunity for an updated battletome soon.

The Start Collecting box represents an average discount but because of the hero option arguably not convenient for multiple buys.

The miniatures are all 3 years old, but a new Warhammer Underworlds warband is expected some time in the first half of 2021.

Idoneth eels (the Akhelian Guard) are some of the most powerful units in the game, dreaded by most because of their ablities, but new uses for the Allopex (shark riders) or the Leviadon (giant turtles) have been opened in the latest rules. Idoneth are not consistent tournament takers, but a few lists are good and visually they are an excellent army.

Cost-wise, they are average, depending on which direction you want to build the army.

Kharadron Overlords

Kharadron Overlords is another duardin army created at the beginning of Age of Sigmar. They represent those dwarves that decided to hide in the clouds before retaliating against the forces of Chaos. Their steampunk art, full of flying vessels and units armed with the more disparate weapons, from fishing hooks to aether guns, really characterizes the different aspects that make Age of Sigmar a unique setting.

The 2020 battletome expanded on the previous battletome and introduced the shooting meta (which armies/lists are most used in tournaments), where armies able to perform well in the shooting phase can quickly dispatch the key units of their opponent destroying their plans.

Kharadron do not have Endless Spells or faction terrain but they have six subfactions (called Sky-ports) and a Start Collecting box. They are also able to use any other faction Endless Spell by… putting it into a bottle.

All miniatures are new, but the range is limited with few options. Most first ranges in Age of Sigmar seem to have been limited to certain options but hopefully Kharadron will be expanded soon.

Kharadron armies are averagely priced and in tournaments can do well unless their opponent is able to strike first or prevent their shooting mechanics.

Lumineth Realm-Lords

Lumineth Realm-Lords are the spiritual successor of the Warhammer Fantasy High Elves. They represent all that is Elf in this world, from the arrogance that almost destroyed them and their realm, Hysh, to the perfection in anything they achieve (martial arts and spellcasting).

After Teclis saved them from the belly of Slaanesh and they almost destroyed themselves in their hubris, they perfected their understanding of the elements and communed with the elemental spirits. The first battletome, in 2020, introduced the basic martial units (Vanari) and the disciples of the Mountain (Alarith). The current battletome (2021) further expanded the Vanari and introduced the Wind temple (Hurakan).

There are 2 more temples yet to be explored (Water and Zenith), together with Tyrion yet to be represented in the battletome, leaving open more than a door for future expansions of this army.

If you have the 2020 battletome, you will need Broken Realm: Teclis to read the latest rules and use the newest models, however if you don’t own it, you just need the 2021 battletome.

Currently Lumineth have six subfactions (called great nations) expanded from the previous 4, Endless Spells and a new faction terrrain. They do not have any Start Collecting box, but this is just a matter of time. The faction is brand new and usually takes a year or two before getting their discounted box.

The miniatures are all new and they are extremely powerful. There have been only few tournaments down under since their release, but all clues seem to point to powerful armies able to contend and win the “spelldome” (the friendly name with which is called the current phenomenon where certain armies can completely prevent any magic activity to their opponents).

Cost-wise, be prepared to open your wallet. This is an expensive army, elite in numbers means less units on the field but to complete your roster you will encounter some of the most expensive models in their category.

Seraphon

Seraphon is the Age of Sigmar name given to the Warhammer Fantasy Lizardmen army. They lost only a few models keeping their range almost entirely as it was. Seraphon represents any kid’s dream: dinosaurs riding dinosaurs with lasers.

Seraphon are divided into two main groups: Skinks that represent the priest caste and the more numerous and nimbler lizardmen, and the Saurus representing the warrior caste and the strongest units. On top of that, we have the Slaan, relics from an age now forgotten, struggling in their never-ending fight against the forces of Chaos. All around we have everything from Triceratops to T-Rex, Pterodactyls and similar iconic dinosaurs.

The 2020 battletome introduced subfactions, faction terrain and bound Endless Spells. Basically Seraphon can use all basic spells from Malign Sorcery box but in their bound version meaning, no other player can control them.

Seraphon need to choose if they want to be the Starborne, those that still live in the giant spaceships, or Coalesced, those that moved into the Mortal Realms and became more feral. After that, they have access to 4 subfactions called Constellations.

Seraphon have access to two Start Collecting boxes, one representing the Saurus, a bit aged and with uneven model counts not representing minimum size units, and one representing the Skinks, really good value for money.

Seraphon are in desperate need of an update to their range. Some of their models are almost 20 years old, and except a Warhammer Underworld warband recently released and the faction terrain, the most recent ones are almost 10 years old. Some like the Skinks are still decent, but Saurus and Kroxigors would really benefit of a revamp.

Seraphon armies participate in the “spelldome” together with Lumineth Realm-Lords and are the rightful contender of the Elves, especially in Lord Kroak, the only miniature that was already a corpse before even becoming a miniature (his spirit is so powerful that keeps him around his own mummy). They are not only strong in magic, but also in ambush tactics and ability to hurt the enemy where it is needed, making them one of the strongest armies in the game at the moment.

As most old armies, their price is below average, but the huge range and options available will mean that is quite an investment to get everything.

Sylvaneth

The Sylvaneth genesis comes from the World-That-Was as they are the nature spirits that once formed half of the Wood Elves army led by Alarielle, once the Everqueen of the High Elves and representation of their Mother Goddess. Now the Sylvaneth and their leader embody the cycle of the seasons and fight for survival in Ghyran, the realm of Life. But since Sigmar arrived with his Stormcast Eternals to retake what Chaos destroyed, it’s the season of War for Alarielle and her kindred.

Sylvaneth are made of dryads (female tree spirits) and other similar attuned units, but there are increasing rumours about Kurnothi, of which we have only a Warhammer Underworld warband, being a part of the army in the near future.

The last battletome introduced new Endless Spells, a new kit for the dreaded Sylvaneth woods, and expanded on the subfactions, now 7 of them.

The Start Collecting box contains some important units and can be a safe multi-purchase, even considering the Dryads in it are not in the correct number for their unit size, so you will either have spares or need more boxes of them.

The entire range is relatively recent, most of the models introduced during the End Times, the last episode of Warhammer Fantasy and a couple, including the Arch-Revenant in the cover, have been introduced in 2019. As mentioned above, the Kurnothi, spirit folk half animal, half man like Satyrs and Centaurs, may or may not be a new expansion of the army, their own thing, or actually never be developed further.

Currently Sylvaneth are one of the weakest armies in the game and Alarielle, the powerful Goddess of Life, quite disappointing on the tabletop. However, Broken Realms books have already fixed other struggling armies and Sylvaneth are yet to have their turn.

To be a recent army, Sylvaneth is on the cheap side, considering also their main battleline being available in the Start Collecting box. Unless you are leaning on a Revenant based army, in that case the costs will increase considerably (Spite-Revenants are currently costed £27.5 for 60 points).

Stormcast Eternals fifth battletome, 2021 edition

Stormcast Eternals

The Stormcast Eternals are the paladins of justice created by Sigmar with the best and most noble souls to bring justice to the world and dispense it from the forces of Chaos. This theft of souls noticeably angered Nagash being the premise of the Age of Sigmar 2.0 narrative (Soul Wars).

But behind their golden armour, these incredible warriors hide a dangerous secret: every time they die, their soul is reforged in Azyr and sent back to battle, making them virtually immortal. But the process is far from perfect and every time they go through this process, they lose something of themselves, becoming indiscriminate dispensers of justice or forgetting who they were.

In the current Age of Beasts, Stormcast Eternals have been refurbished with a brand-new armour, the Thunderstrike, forged by Grungni himself to contrast the effects of the “Cursed Skies”, a phenomenon of chaotic origin that prevents Stormcast souls to reach Azyr when they fall in battle.

Stormcast are currently at their 5th battletome presenting a full new set of units and heroes to fight back the forces of Destruction.

They can be roughly divided in Chambers, each representing a military aspect of their organization:

  • Warrior Chamber: the first wave that introduced us to Age of Sigmar, made mainly of infantry soldiers of which the Liberators are the exemplification.
  • Harbinger Chamber: same as Warrior Chamber but without the Paladins.
  • Extremis Chamber: the heavy cavalry, literally! Riding Stardrakes they represent the most massive units in the range.
  • Vanguard Auxilliary Chamber: the second wave representing the scouts of the army, with ambush and skirmish tactics, riding fast beasts or shooting from afar.
  • Sacrosanct Chamber: the latest chamber to be opened, representing the wizards and sages taken by Sigmar and tasked to find a solution to the Stormcast reforging problem.
  • Ruination, Covenant and Logister Chambers: they yet have to open, who knows what’s behind their doors?

Stormcasts, despite being advertised as a starter army, can be complicated. You can still choose to be deployed from the skies (Scions of the Storm) or to enter a coalition with Cities of Sigmar army (1 in 4 models, Stormkeep). In addition you can choose a Stormhost, out of 8, that adds a bit more context and one extra rule. In narrative play you can create even your own Stormhost.

Stormcast do not have faction terrain but they do have Endless Spells.

There are currently many ways to get cheap models in particular the Starter sets, Vanguard Start Collecting and Thunderstrike Start Collecting (AoS 1.0 starter set). You can also find models in magazines (Mortal Realms collection from Hachette Partworks), promotional items from GW itself or simply boxes of boardgames or spin-off games (several Warhammer Underworlds warbands).

Stormcast Eternals represent Age of Sigmar with a huge range of new models. If at all the problem here is too many miniatures to choose from with little synergies between them. In tournaments they have moderate results mostly relying on their shooting capabilities.

To get 2000 points of Stormcast Eternals can be cheap. To make it work in a cohesive way can require extra effort but is still on the average side. To obtain every single miniature, considering some were limited edition models available for a limited time, it is going to be a titanic adventure.

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