The Chaos Legionnaires are the first individual box released for Warcry since it moved to the Realm of Beasts of Ghur.
While on the surface they look innocent chaos warriors, in reality they follow Be’lakor and his hidden agenda to sow confusion and discord in the Chaos forces.
Background and Lore of the Chaos Legionnaires Warband
Be’lakor was the first to become a Daemon Prince, the greatest achievement a mortal can obtain from the Chaos Gods. It is not known how he lost their favour, only that he was soon replaced and punished to forever crown the new Everchosen, the favourite by all Dark Gods.
He has since planned revenge and a way to topple even Archaon, the current title holder. The Dark Creed is a secret religion that venerates him and works to sow confusion and reap dissent to facilitate Be’lakor’s ascension.
The Chaos Legionnaires are elite fighters belonging to this creed, loyal to Be’lakor and guided in battle by Eternus, the Blade of the First Prince. They can also be accompanied by Centaurion Marshals (in Warcry this is an Ally that can be used by any Chaos warband) and represent the new aesthetic from the Slaves to Darkness faction.
But how well do they serve the First Prince? Let’s find out.
Fighters in the Chaos Legionnaires Warband
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn.
If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on.
So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
The Chaos Legionnaires warband is made of 7 different fighters, of which 1 is the leader.
Decuriarch: 170 points
The Decuriarch is the only Leader option available to this warband. He has a strong profile with an impressive Toughness 5 and 22 Wounds. His attacks are also in line with other Chaos leaders: 4 attacks at Strength 4 for 2/5 damage.
The difference, often, is made by the abilities he has access to. Let’s start with the 2 Leader abilities unique to his profile. Dark Pact allows to do some ranged damage (up to 12″) to a single enemy. You roll as many dice as the ability’s value and for each 3+ you allocate that enemy 1 damage. It costs a Double, but then you roll D3 damage to yourself. It’s a bit of a trade-off with you getting the wrong end of the stick. It is indeed highly possible to receive more damage than that allocated, especially with low Doubles. It is however the only ranged “attack” available and if an enemy is too far away and low on Wounds you can try your luck with the Chaos gods.
The other ability costs a Triple, The True Master’s Favour, and is much more useful as it allows to increase by 1 the melee attacks of every friendly fighter within 9″ as long as the Decuriarch takes an enemy down first. With his melee power it shouldn’t be a problem to find a sacrificial opponent and buff all other companions, making this ability a must every round.
The next ability, Shield Ram, is shared with the Hornshields, and allows some impact damage at the end of a Move next to an enemy. You need to roll a 6 and have a highly valued Double to do some significant damage, so better leave this ability to the Hornshields.
The last one is an ability that can be used by all fighters in this warband and costs a Quad: Wrath of the First Prince. It provides a bonus attack, that is always a good thing, and in addition up to 3 hits (half the value of the ability rounded up) becomes critical hits. Scoring critical hits is always nice, and increasing the chances to roll a critical is always great. Note that you still need to score at least a hit, but with Strength 4 or 5 within the warband, this will not be a problem.
Mutandor with Beast Spear: 145 points
The Mutandor with Beast Spear is actually the only profile available for the Mutandors, a… somehow weird name in a warband whose names are actually not their strength.
Once we get past the name, this fighter is an elite champion with a significative cost due in part to his 2″ range weapon (the highest in the entire warband). He has Strength 5 that should enable to crack the toughest armours, and a good 2/5 damage.
For some reasons he is also the fastest in the warband (5″ Move) and this combines well with his signature ability, Headlong Charge. Or it would, if it was not too restrictive, especially for a Triple. It provides a bonus attack, but only after you spent the previous 2 activations moving. So, no Disengage or other actions, just Move. Arguably it is difficult to meet the requirements for this ability, but in the first turn it allows an attack while being at 12″ distance (5″ per Movement and 2″ range), that is not bad.
The warband reaction, Call to Arms, seems to imply you should keep your warband tight and compact, or at least in pairs, so throwing your Mutandor in the midst of the enemy lines may not always be a good idea, despite Toughness 4 and 18 Wounds.
- Hornhelm with Darkiron Mace: 120 points
- Hornhelm with Steelbite Axe: 125 points
The Hornhelm are the specialised infantry, better than the troop but less scary than a Mutandor. Or are they? They don’t have the 2″ range weapon or the 5″ Movement, but for the rest they have a similar profile and arguably a better damage output in most situations.
The Darkiron Mace with Strength 4 but minimum damage 3 is really interesting, while the Steelbite Axe has greater Strength (5) and more damage on critical hits (2/6) making it a better option against armoured enemies.
Hornhelms have access to Brutal Swing that allows to add up to 3 to the damage on critical hits for the next attack action. Considering they have only 3 attacks (4 if under the effect of the Decuriarch ability) it could be a waste of a Double…
- Hornshield with Mace: 100 points
- Hornshield with Axe: 95 points
- Hornshield with Sword: 95 points
The Hornshields are your basic troops, but do not expect cheap cannon fodder. Toughness 5 and 12 Wounds means you need some good critical hits to put them down.
Even their weapon profiles are relatively dangerous:
- The Sword is the basic one with 4 attacks at Strength 4 for 1/3 damage.
- The Axe loses an attack (3) to increase Strength (5) and damage on critical hit (1/4).
- The Mace is the most expensive because it has a greater minimum damage (2/4) compared to the Axe profile (with Strength 4 although).
Apart from the warband Quad, they have also access to the Double Shield Ram, that allows them to do some damage after a move action ends close to an enemy. You need to roll a 6 and have a highly valued Double, but there’s not many other options for Doubles in the warband and these guys would go heads on towards the enemy any way.
Abilities for the Chaos Legionnaires Warband
- Shield Ram (Double, Decuriarch and all Hornshield): A chance to do up to 6 damage at the end of a move action after engaging an enemy.
- Dark Pact (Double, Decuriarch): A chance to do up to 6 damage to an enemy at 12″ range but also up to 3 damage to himself.
- Brutal Swing (Double, both Hornhelm): Add up to 3 to the damage on critical hits for the next attack action.
- Headlong Charge (Triple, Mutandor): A bonus attack if at the end of 2 Move actions you are within 2″ of an enemy.
- The True Master’s Favour (Triple, Decuriarch): After taking down an enemy, increase by 1 the melee attacks of all friendly fighters within 9″.
- Wrath of the First Prince (Quad, everyone): A bonus attack of which up to 3 hits can become critical hits instead.
Reaction for the Chaos Legionnaires Warband
Introduced in the new season of Warcry, Reactions are things that can be done in certain circumstances, but always during the enemy turn. They cost one action, so they can be used only by fighters that have not activated yet or are waiting. There are 3 universal reactions and one specific to each warband:
Call to Arms (Everyone)
- When: After an enemy ends a movement close-by.
- What: Allows another friendly fighter to perform a bonus move engaging the enemy that just moved.
Strategy and Tactics for the Chaos Legionnaires Warband
The Chaos Legionnaires are an elite warband where even their cheaper fighters can be compared to other warbands’ elite/specialized troops. Despite so, you can still field around 8 fighters meaning that you are not short on bodies like some other legacy warbands (those created from Age of Sigmar troop profiles).
Their main weakness is the lack of ranged attacks, as they are limited to a single Leader ability that costs a Double, depends on dice rolls to do anything but certain as taxes would self-inflict some damage (D3). It is still useful as it could be your only option to target a running enemy, so do not disregard it immediately (Dark Pact).
Another situational ability is given to the top fighter after the Decuriarch, the Mutandor. As it provides a bonus attack action as long as you perform 2 move actions first, the occasions to use it will be minimal. Unless you can use his 5″ movement to circle around an enemy without engaging or it’s the first turn and you want to get the first blood.
Apart from that, the Mutandor is the fighter with the highest range in the warband (2″) and decent attacks that makes him useful to avoid immediate retaliation.
The Hornhelms are better fighters, statistically speaking, same number of attacks as the Mutandor but better damage potential at a reduced cost. Their special ability is even more forgettable however.
If you need a strong front line, the Hornhelms are your go to, and which weapon to choose, is up to personal preference. The Axe is better against high armour enemies, and the Mace against Toughness 3 or less.
The Hornshields are the core of your warband, with decent costs for the damage throughput and with a Toughness of 5 hardly matched by basic troops. 12 wounds mean that they can withstand few critical hits and their high Strength means that they will not struggle to push back.
If you do need to close down on an enemy, all Chaos Legionnaires can use Call to Arms as a reaction, allowing a close fighter to engage an enemy passing-by. This kind of reactions are a double-edged sword: on one side they allow for strategical position so that your opponent may always be worried if you can reposition next to an objective because they entered the 3″ bubble, on the other hand, it can slow down the game with the opponent always calculating distances, ensuring he stays outside of 3″ even if you wouldn’t have wasted an action for a move in their turn.
You are most likely to use this ability with the Hornshields, bringing to the fore your best fighter. Basically you use a Hornshield action to move another fighter, allowing repositioning of your best warriors without sacrificing their actions. Careful: disengage actions are not the same as movement actions!
The best ability all Chaos Legionnaires share is their Quad that allows a bonus action and the ability to ensure at least some hits are critical. You would want to use it more with your high damage fighters like the 6 from the Hornhelm with Steelbite Axe.
And if you have enough dice (and high value Quad), the Decuriarch’s Triple, The True Master’s Favour, can increase the attack value of your fighters by 1, meaning more chances to hit and more chances to convert those hits in critical ones.
The Decuriarch’s Triple should be your main objective every round. If you have the chance to enable it, 9″ bubble of +1 attack is not huge, but remember you can reposition some fighter with their reaction. It can really compensate the overall low amount of attacks for this warband (apart the Decuriarch and the Hornshield with Sword, they all have 3 attacks) and it comes as a reward for killing an opponent, so: win-win!
The final verdict on the Chaos Legionnaires is that they have limited ranged capabilities but are good in melee, with a great compromise between elite low-count warbands and stronger but less expensive fighters. They can stand more than a punch with high Wounds and Toughness, don’t have runners or flying elements but have decent movement.
They have some good abilities like the leader’s Triple, the warband Quad and the reaction, that lets you forget about the quality of the others.
They could even work as a beginner friendly warband as the game plan is pretty simple: use your leader to kill weaker enemies and increase your warband attacks, until you get a Quad to use with your strong fighters.
In the meanwhile keep your fighters at the minimum in pairs so that they can support each other, or at least let your opponent think more carefully about his moves, and keep slashing enemies for the Dark Master!
Pros and Cons of the Chaos Legionnaires Warband
+ Strong and tough fighters
+ Excellent Quad and Leader’s Triple ability
– No ranged options
– Subjectively ridiculous names
Some thematic warbands for the Chaos Legionnaires
Just for fun here we present few thematic warbands, meant more for fun or narrative context than for competitive play. Note that in narrative play you need to complete a quest that allows you to recruit a Hero before being able to add him to your roster.
Out of the box: Decuriarch, 1 Mutandor, 1 Hornhelm with Darkiron Mace, 2 Hornhelm with Steelbite Axe, 1 Hornshield with Mace, 1 with Sword and 1 with Axe, so that you have at least a single fighter for each profile.
How to buy a Chaos Legionnaires Warband
The Chaos Legionnaires have their own box, the first one sold with the new Ghur colours.
The sprues allow you to build:
- 1 Decuriarch
- 1 Mutandor with Beast Spear
- 3 Hornhelm with either weapon option
- 3 Hornshield with either of the 3 weapon options
For a total of 8 miniatures, allowing you to have one for each profile with only one Hornhelm that would have an alternative sculpt in your warband.
Tips on painting a Chaos Legionnaires Warband for Warcry
Chaos Legionnaires follow most Slaves to Darkness and Chaos tropes, so you can find several deviations on the theme and apply the one you prefer. If you want to go for a classic GW battle ready finish, then Warhammer Community has you covered. If you want to get a step further, there’s also the parade ready tutorial.