“The Flame Within”
The Scions of the Flame is a Chaos warband for the Age of Sigmar: Warcry tabletop game. They are a warband of fire-worshipping zealots, consuming everything in their wake like the firestorms of their homeland, Aqshy.
If you like dealing a lot of damage, and a playstyle with high risk and high reward (and FLAMES!), the Scions of the Flame might be just the right warband for you.
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Background and Lore of the Scions of the Flame Warband
The Scions of the Flame are a warband of fanatics from Aqshy, the Realm of Fire. They worship Chaos in the aspect of the Ever-raging Flame, and they hunt and eat the hearts of fire-beasts to become embodiments of the Flame themselves.
They have come to the Eightpoints to fight because they believe the wars of Archaon heralds an apocalypse where everything in the Mortal Realms will be consumed by flames, and they want to aid in the coming of this apocalypse in any way they can.
The Scions worship the Ever-raging Flame, but they are still far from powerful Chaos Sorcerers. As such, they dress themselves in fire-resistant gear, ranging from masks and helmets to cured leather armor, salamander scales and thick capes – unless they’re one of the Immolators, zealots who embody the flames to the point of catching fire as they charge the enemy like human fireballs. How chaos is that?!
In battle, the Scions imitate fire in their tactics: they destroy everything they come close to with many attacks, thrown explosives, flaming blades and axes – but like fire, they can be extinguished, unable to outlast tougher enemies. Few warbands can match them in sheer damage output from abilities – if they can get to the enemy before they are destroyed themselves.
Let’s have a look at the Scions of the Flame fighters and abilities.
Overview and Points for the Fighters in the Scions of the Flame 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
Blazing Lord (190 points)
The Leader of the Scions of the Flame warband, the Blazing Lord, is a very good close combat leader for his points cost.
His defensive stats are nothing to brag about (20 Wounds and a Toughness of 4), but his attacks are pretty great: He has 4 of them, they have a critical damage of 6, and his attacks have a Range of 2.
On top of this, he has access to two great abilities, as well as the Strength-boosting universal ability of the Scions of the Flame, Fiery Might, which he doesn’t really need. The two great abilities are the Double Beheading Strike, which lets him add extra damage to the critical hits of one attack action, and the Triple Ignited Fervour, which gives 1 extra Attack to every friendly fighter while they are within 6 inches of the Blazing Lord. It is possible to combine these two, but it requires some setup. You can take a wait action and use the buff (lasts for the rest of the battle round). Activate the Blazing Lord later and use the Beheading strike (granted, he needs to be in range to attack without having to move).
Beheading Strike can get the Leader’s critical damage as high as 9 for one attack action, which, if you roll any crits, can be a true Leader or Monster slayer ability, but it is, of course, dependent on dice rolls, so you risk wasting a Double on it. However, it’s better than the other two Double abilities of the warband, so use it whenever you have a spare Double roll.
Ignited Fervour is one of those Leader abilities that every other warband wishes it had (apart from warbands like the Corvus Cabal who already has something like this): Giving extra attacks to friendly fighters within a bubble is a great foundation for the setup of your battle groups, and since the ability doesn’t depend on the value of the dice roll used for it, it’s a Triple that’s easy to activate. Use this ability with a lot of cheap fighters, such as the Initiates, around your Leader, and they will suddenly be much more effective.
I can say from experience (played a lot of corvus cabal) that these kinds of attack buffs are amazing and it is something that truly makes the flame-bois fun to play.
Brazen Champion (170 points)
The Brazen Champion is a specialist fighter in the Scions of the Flame warband, and his speciality is more or less being the melee part of what the Blazing Lord does. He has a similar defensive profile, one less Attack, the same critical damage, but one more point in normal damage, to a total of 3 normal damage.
He also has access to the critical damage-boosting Double Beheading Strike. This means that the best use for the Brazen Champion is as a front line fighter, preferably in the same battle group as the Blazing Lord, since the +1 Attacks from him is great on another fighter with a critical damage of 6.
Other than that, he is a very straight forward fighter to play: He does good damage, has a Range of 2, but doesn’t have the defensive stats to stay alive for as long as, say, an Ironjawz Orruk, so make sure he gets to the enemy before they can get to him.
Maybe a bit on the pricey side, but if you are a person that rolls a lot of crits he is definitely your guy!
Inferno Priest (130 points)
The Inferno Priest can best be described as the sorcerer of the Scions of the Flame. She has a 5 inch range firebolt attack with two attacks and 4 critical damage, as well as a 2 inch range melee attack with the same damage profile, but her most important contribution to the warband is her access to the Quad ability Engulf in Flames.
Engulf in Flames lets you pick a fighter within 3 inches of the Inferno Priest, roll 6 dice and do damage equal to half the value of the dice rolled for the ability for each roll of 2 or more. For each roll of 6, you can roll another dice to do damage. If you can get a Quad roll with a value of 4 or more, there’s a good chance for this ability to take out a weaker enemy fighter, and a small chance that you can do more damage with it than with almost any other ability in the game if you keep rolling sixes. Now this a damage ability that actually works!
Engulf in Flames and, by extension, the Inferno Priest, has the potential to do a huge amount of damage, but since the Inferno Priest only has 15 Wounds and a Move of 4, you can’t rely on her getting into the range she needs for her ability as well as surviving for long enough to use it every time.
She can still be a good supporting fighter with her ranged attack, but the best strategy is to keep her away from the fighting until late in the game when you have the ability dice to launch her as a one-shot fire-spewing human cruise missile at an important target (and how awesome it is!).
Immolator (145 points)
Like the Inferno Priest, the Immolator is a kind of human explosive. He has the same Move, Wound, and Toughness statistics as the Inferno Priest, but he is a bit more suited to getting into melee combat.
His melee attack has 4 attacks and a good critical damage of 5, and his unique ability, Inferno, lets him roll a dice for each enemy fighter within 3 inches. On a 4-5, he does 1 damage to that fighter, and on a 6, damage equal to the value of the dice rolled for the ability. If you have a high Triple roll, this can be a good way to soften up an enemy frontline of cheap fighters, but mostly it will just do a bit of damage.
However, if you’re lucky, the ability might do just the damage you need to be able to take out an enemy fighter with the Immolator’s good melee damage profile.
In general, a better use of a Triple roll is to have the Immolator in a battle group with the Blazing Lord, who can use a Triple to buff the Immolator’s good melee attacks. So his ability fails into the camp of “damage ability that might be good, but most of the time is pretty weak”.
But hey, how crazy is it to wrap yourself in flame even though you are not immune or even resistant? #onlychaos
Fireborn (120 points)
The Fireborn is a mid-tier fighter type in the Scions of the Flame warband, and it comes in three versions. The standard version has 10 Wounds, the standard 4 Move every Scion has, and a good melee profile with 4 attacks and a critical damage of 4.
In a warband which has a good melee Leader and three champions with high damage potential, the Fireborn is pretty unremarkable, but he does have access to the Double ability Throw Fire Bomb. The ability lets you roll 2 dice for an enemy fighter within 6 inches of the Fireborn, and do 1 damage on each roll of 4-5 or damage equal to value of the ability roll on a 6.
This may not sound like much, but since Warcry is full of versions of this Double ability where you only roll 1 dice, the doubling of the dice rolled gives you an edge in a “throwing duel” with other warbands with similar abilities. Doing 10 or 12 damage with a high Double roll and 2 rolls of 6 is unlikely, but often worth a shot if you have a good Double roll.
Fireborn with Sunblade and Kris (115 points)
This version of the Fireborn can’t throw firebombs, but it has a critical damage of 5, which is impressive for a fighter that costs 115 points. It sacrifices one point of Strength to get this damage profile, but that doesn’t matter if you’re going for critical hits. In my opinion, this makes this version worth taking if you can keep it close to the Leader to get an extra attack from his ability. 4 attacks with a critical damage of 5 from a cheap fighter is a good asset to any warband.
Fireborn with Sunblade and Brazier Axe (115 points)
This version of the Fireborn has exactly the same statistics as the 120 points Fireborn, but without the ability to throw firebombs, which makes it a worse choice than the other two. Only take it if you like the miniature (it does have a cool flaming axe).
You are trading 1 STR for 1 less crit (compared to the Kris version). That will never be a good trade in warcry.
Initiate with Brazier Weapon and Flameburst Pot (65 points)
The Initiates are the basic fighters of the Scions of the Flame. They have a low Toughness of 3, but otherwise the same Wounds and Move of the Fireborn.
This version has a fairly weak damage profile with 3 Attacks and a critical damage of 3, but also access to the Throw Firebomb ability, which is pretty good for 65 points. Since there is only one build option for this version of the Initiate in the Scions of the Flame kit, there’s no reason not to take this cheap fighter in your warband.
Initiate with Hooked Axe (65 points)
The following three Initiate versions are different build options for the same miniature, so choose carefully.
The Initiate with Hooked Axe has almost the same statistics as the Initiate with Brazier Weapon, for the same points cost, but without the Throw Firebomb ability, so it doesn’t really add anything to your tactical toolbox. It does have 1 more attack, but with a damage profile of 1 normal/ 3 critical damage, and in a warband that already does a lot of melee damage, that isn’t all that important.
Initiate with Flameburst Pot (55 points)
This version of the Initiate has a Strength of 3 instead of the 4 of the Initiate with Brazier Weapon, but it still has access to the Throw Firebomb ability, so for 55 points, it’s a good option if you want to add some ranged damage to your arsenal.
Initiate with Morning Star (55 points)
Finally, there’s the Initiate with Morning Star, which is the Initiate version I would always pick. Like the Marauder with Flail from the Slaves to Darkness warband, this fighter has the coveted 3 range melee attack, which means he does what a spear attack does (being able to attack in melee without fear of retaliation from 1 inch range attack weapons), but better!
If you can find a way to build many of these (conversions of chaos Marauders come to mind) and put them in a battle group with the Blazing Lord, you end up with a swarm of Attacks-buffed 3 inch range melee fighters, which is a threat to even the strongest enemy fighter types.
Abilities for the Scions of the Flame Warband
- Fiery Might (Double, Everyone) Add half the value of the dice roll used for this ability (rounding up) to the Strength characteristic of attacks made by this fighter with a Range of 3 or less until the end of this fighter’s activation.
- Beheading Strike (Double, Brazen Champion, Blazing Lord) Add half the value of the dice roll used for this ability (rounding up) to the damage points of critical hits from the next attack made by this fighter with a Range of 3 or less this activation.
- Throw Firebomb (Double, Initiate with Flameburst Pot, Initiate with Brazier Weapon and Flameburst pot, Fireborn ) Roll 2 dice against an enemy fighter within 6 inches. For each roll of 4-5, do 1 damage to that fighter. For each roll of 6, do damage to that fighter equal to the value of the dice roll used for this ability.
- Inferno (Triple, Immolator) For each enemy fighter within 3 inches of this fighter, roll a dice. On a roll of 4-5, do 1 damage to the fighter being rolled for. On a roll of 6, do damage to the fighter being rolled for equal to the value of the dice roll used for this ability.
- Ignited Fervour (Triple, Blazing Lord) Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of attack actions with Range 3 or less of friendly fighters while they are within 6 inches of this fighter until the end of the battle round.
- Engulf in Flames (Quad, Inferno Priest) Roll 6 dice against an enemy fighter within 3 inches of this fighter. For each roll of 2 or more, do damage to that fighter equal to half the value of the dice roll for this ability (rounding up). Additionally, for each roll of 6, roll 1 extra dice in the same way, and repeat until you roll no more rolls of 6.
Strategy and Tactics for the Scions of the Flame
Playing the Scions of the Flame is all about doing as much damage as possible before your fighters are taken out: You have the potential to do scores of damage with attack actions and abilities, but your average Move statistics and generally low Wounds and Toughness means that you will struggle to reach the enemy before they reach you and survive a prolonged melee fight.
In an overground battle of regular Warcry, this puts the Scions at a disadvantage: You have to cover a lot of ground, and many warbands will get to the objectives before you and/or outlive you in combat. You have a ton of attacks and abilities, but you just don’t know if you will get to use them.
In a Catacombs battle, the Scions are at a bit more of an advantage: Depending on the placement of objectives and special terrain, battle groups in a Catacombs battle will often end up standing on top of each other, resulting in big brawls in confined spaces, which means Move statistics aren’t always as important as above ground.
In such fights, being a warband that’s all about doing a lot of damage is great, and the Scions abilities that take effect in bubbles (the Blazing Lord’s attack buff and the Inferno Priest’s area attack ability) are much more effective when a lot of models are standing close to each other.
No matter where you’re fighting, it is important for a Scions player to keep the Champions alive for long enough to justify their points cost: Don’t rush in with your Inferno Priest or Immolator if you don’t have the ability rolls to use them, and make the most of Beheading Strike attacks with your Brazen Champion.
Also: If you have the Doubles for it in early battle rounds, don’t forget to use Throw Firebomb. It’s cheap and lets you do some damage to the enemy before they charge you, so that you have a better chance of taking them out if you survive the first wave of attacks. It’s also a better use of your Doubles than Fiery Might, which improves the Strength of an attack. In a warband with such good critical damage output, improving your chance of doing normal damage is rarely worth the use of an ability.
Pros and Cons of the Scions of the Flame
+ great variety of damage-dealing abilities
+ many attacks and good critical damage
+ Strong melee leader who can buff the attacks of other fighters
+ 3 Champions with unique abilities and good damage output
+Long range melee attacks on a lot of fighters
– average speed and survivability
– lacks movement abilities
– the only ability all fighters can use is not very useful
-some redundant build options in the kit
Different build options and how to buy the Scions of the Flame Warband
Scions of the Flames came out with the Catacombs expansion/starter set. Right now that is the only way to get the warband, but we know that it very likely to change over time. At some point we will get the warband in its own box and probably also a double box more aimed at Age of Sigmar.
It also might be possible to buy the warband second hand from someone who has bought the catacombs set, but does not really want that warband.
The Scions of the Flame kit build 8 fighters:
- 1 Blazing Lord, which can be built with or without a helmet (without affecting its rules). The instructions doesn’t list this as an option, but the head is fully sculpted to work without a helmet.
- 1 Brazen Champion
- 1 Inferno Priest, which again can be built without a helmet
- 1 Immolator
- 1 Fireborn, with the option to choose between two different right arms, which don’t affect its rules
- 1 Fireborn with the option to build it as either with Sunblade and Kris or with Sunblade and Brazier Axe (go for the kris, it is better).
- 1 Initiate with Brazier Weapon and Flameburst Pot, with the option to choose between two different Brazier Weapons with no effect on the fighter’s rules
- 1 Initiate with the option to build it as either wielding a Hooked Axe, a Flameburst Pot or a Morning Star. This one is a bit tricky. Morningstar gives a range of 3 on the attack, the hooked axe is one more attack than the flail (but 10 more in points) and the pot gives throw fire bomb ability (but you got two other fighters that have access to that ability as well). With the 65 points option you are ending at an even 1k points for the warband, but for campiagns I would probably lean towards the ranged flails, but that firebomb ability can be really fun as well. I ended up picking the firebomb because throwing molotovs seems to be cooler than hitting with a flail.
Currently, the only way to buy this warband is to buy the Warhammer: Catacombs starter set.
You are not really getting that many low tier fighters, but they might be easy to convert from some marauders.
Tips on painting the Scions of the Flame
The most important difference between painting the Scions of the Flame warband and the other Warcry Chaos warbands is the amount of flames you’ll have to paint. These can be difficult to get right, but with a light undercoat and a bunch of washes/Contrast paints/glazes, it can look really good.
The Warhammer Youtube channel has a step by step tutorial for painting the Inferno Priest which goes through techniques for both the flames, the lizard scales and the dark leather that’s present on most of the Scions models. Watch it here and here.
Do you have some sweet painted Scions of the Flame?
Then I really want to display them here.