The Hosts of Sigmar are many and varied – some are stoic, some are terrifying. The Stormhosts of the Stormcast Eternals can be represented in many different ways and today Games Workshop is showing off some new rules for them.
With the addition of new units and more on the way, the Stormcast Eternals have a massive list of units to choose from – 50(!!!) by our count. That’s also not counting any Warscroll Battalions or Endless Spells you can purchase either. They are one of the largest ranges and armies Games Workshop has produced.
Last year I wondered why the Stormcasts were getting all the love from GW. It’s pretty clear that they are the Poster-boys of AoS, that much is obvious. But as the face of the game that also means they have to appeal to the widest audience. One way they do that is by supporting as many different playstyles for the army as possible. Nothing showcases that better than the different Stormhosts.
The new Stormcast Eternals Battletome explores this, both through the art and lore (See the guy on the cover? Those rings in his are from the culture of his former tribe) and through the rules, with a reinvented set of Stormhost rules that let you represent the unique tactics of each Stormhost.
You choose the Stormhost for your army when you’re writing your list, giving each unit in your army a unique keyword representing which Stormhost they’re from. If a model already has a Stormhost keyword – like Vandus Hammerhand, for example – you can still include it in your army.
The Anvils of Heldenhammer are a perfect example of how different the Stormhosts can be. They aren’t exactly the Golden-armored saviors of the Mortal Realms that the Stormcasts first appeared to be. No, this Stormhosts is made of grim warriors who use their corpse-like visage to their advantage. They strike fear into the hearts of their opponents and seek to have a mastery over death like how “the shark owns the deep sea.”
These heroes were taken from Shyish and were long dead and buried before Sigmar drafted them into his forces. Firstly, that made Nagash pretty mad. Secondly, that means the vast majority of these guys are were also from the old World-That-Was. If you look at their Command Ability and read the backstory, it’s pretty clear that these guys are using the old Formation Tactics that the Empire used to have – that’s kind of cool if you ask me!
Stormhosts aren’t just cool additions thematically. They also have extra rules that give them different playing styles compared to each other. You don’t have to use their specific rules but in choosing to do so you’ll have an army of Stormcasts that plays different from others. It’s that variety in number of units and rules that make the Stormcasts viable and appealing.
The Celestial Vindicators are another example of how the Stormhosts can be very different. Again, thematically they are vastly different from the Anvils of Heldenhammer. Where the Anvils speak in whispers, the Celestial Vindicators chant and sing battle mantras. The Anvils come from the ranks of the long dead and the Vindicators each have “a dark history” that drives them and a hatred of Chaos that is unending.
As you can imagine these two forces don’t just sound like different armies they also fight very differently. Where the Anvils are great at Battleshock Tests, Formation Fighting and have an intimidating presence, the Celestial Vindicators are wild warriors. There abilities revolve around getting into a whirling melee and becoming a storm of death and destruction. Re-rolls to hit, extra attacks, and bonus damage are how they get the job done.
There are a handful of specific Stormhosts with unique rules but you don’t have to play as one. You’ll be able to customize your own forces using the “generic” command abilities, battalions, spells, relics and weapons in the new Battletome. You can even opt to use their rules and paint your army “non-traditional” colors – there are no rules that say you have to use their specific paint scheme to use their rules.
While these rules are designed to represent the unique tactics of the most iconic groupings of Stormcast Eternals, you can use them however you’ve painted your models – just choose the rules that you think best represent how YOUR army fights.
The new Stormcast Eternals Battletome is going up for Pre-Order this weekend. If you want to get your hands on one of the largest and most diverse armies in AoS, mark your calendars!
It’s like they are the Space Marines of AoS or something!