This weekend, the new Fyreslayers battletome drops, and with it a whole bunch of new goodies. Here are my thoughts on the three new invocations, and some tactics for using them alongside your new Fyreslayers.
Like with Khorne, Fyreslayers are not a particularly magical army, so they received Magmic Invocations rather than standard Endless Spells. Brought onto the battlefield by priests, these Invocations cannot be unbound by enemy wizards, so they bring a lot of power to the table.
All of the invocations in the new battletome are successful on a 3+, unlike the variable number required for the Khorne wrath prayers. They last until the end of the battle round, at which time you roll a d6, adding 1 to the roll if there are any priests within 6”. On a 4+, the invocation stays in play for another battle round. Several magic items and warlord traits help Fyreslayer priests cast these invocations easier or keep them on the battlefield longer, and there’s even a prayer that allows an invocation within 12” to skip the roll to vanish.
Nothing says volcanic fire dwarves like summoning a geyser of flame to attack your enemies, and this invocation does just that. When you cast this invocation, you can place the Flame-Spitter model anywhere within 6” of the priest as he urges the fire from deep below the earth. In every subsequent shooting phase, so long as there is a priest within 6” of the Flame-Spitter (this can be any priest, it doesn’t have to be the one that summoned it), it can target an enemy within 24” and roll 12 dice. For every 6 you roll, the target unit takes a mortal wound. However, since it’s easier to hit a big blob, the Spitter dishes out wounds on a 5+ if the target has at least 10 models and on a 4+ if it has at least 20. That’s a 50/50 chance to dish out a wound against hordes, which is admittedly a big weakness for elite armies like the Fyreslayers. This invocation is great for softening up a unit before a charge, especially if that unit gets bonuses to hit or wound rolls so long as they have a certain number of units. Combine this with Volcano’s Call to really lay into a heavy unit before hitting it with a Magmadroth or a big block of Vulkites.
Even with the extra wound that has been added to all basic infantry in the new battletome, Fyreslayers are not the toughest army in the Realms, with only a 5+ save for the most part. In a world of high rend elite armies like Idoneth and Khorne, this can make your expensive dwarves very fragile very fast. Beyond that, Slayers have next to no defense against shooting, as even if you take Slingshields they only help in close combat, and then only on a turn that you haven’t charged. Enter the Firewall, which not only allows units of Fyreslayers to re-roll save rolls of 1 (which could mean the difference between a wounded dwarf and a dead one) but units cannot draw line of sight through the wall. This will keep cannons and gunline units occupied and force them to move closer to engage you in melee, which is exactly where you want them to be. What’s more, Magmadroths can move over the wall with impunity, so units trying to navigate around it are still at great risk from your angry fire lizards. You can use this invocation to protect important units or guard objectives from your opponent, since they will have to use movement to get around it while you simply walk your monsters over to claim the objective and dare your opponent to come closer.
What else is there to do when you can control the fiery heart of the earth than summon the elemental manifestation of the mother of Salamanders? The Molten Infernoth is the only invocation that can move, and is a great buffer to throw alongside a charging unit. The Infernoth is set up within 12” of the summoning priest, and then moves 2d6” right away and every subsequent hero phase. After it has finished the move, roll 12 dice for EVERY unit within 3” of the Infernoth, dishing out a mortal wound on every roll of a 6. Fyreslayers, however, can not only ignore these wounds, but they are so galvanized by the presence of the massive lava monster that they add 1 to their Bravery while they’re wholly within 18”. This is a great support piece to bring alongside massed charging units, as it not only softens up the target but keeps your Duardin in the fight longer if they happen to lose any models. Interestingly, it also protects them from several Death shooting attacks that target Bravery, so this is a great invocation to bring if you know you’ll be facing Death armies.
~What do you think of the new invocations? Which ones will you be using in your armies?