Hedonites have been unleashed on the Mortal Realms, and Slaanesh players have a host of new options to take down the enemies of the Dark Prince. The Hosts of Slaanesh are all updated for the new edition. Here’s how to get the most out of them.
In the new Battletome choosing a host is required, and each comes with its own set of Battle Traits, Command Traits, and Artefacts of Power. Each one also gains the standard Slaanesh battle traits, but all the hosts are tailored to play in a unique way – almost like three entirely separate armies.
When the Invaders go to war, they do so under the leadership of several figureheads vying for glory in the name of their dark patron. Chaos champions and daemonic heralds alike compete with greater acts of depravity, trying to outdo one another and gain favor for the return of their captive god. On the tabletop, Invaders play like an elite force with a focus on leaders and heroes. An Invader Host can have up to three generals instead of just one, but only one of them gets a command trait and no generals can use command abilities while they are within 12” of another general from the same army. However, the first time one of your generals is slain, you immediately receive an extra command point. To represent the whole army seeking to glorify their god and throw down their enemies, you receive d3 Depravity points if you have any units in your opponent’s territory, or d6 if you have 3 or more.
As such, this army favors getting your units down the field and stuck into combat as quickly as possible. This is much easier with three generals, as you have a 12” range of your command ability to re-roll charges, so long as you keep your generals far apart. Glory Hog is a standout Command Trait, as it allows you to generate Command points by wiping out units while the general is on the field. This host also favors fast heroes, like Heralds on Chariots, since they can get into enemy territory very quickly. Also consider the Rod of Misrule Artefact, as it allows you to generate extra command points to utilize your extra general’s command abilities.
Rather than seeking or glorifying Slaanesh, the Pretenders believe that they have actually become their trapped god; and with the support and faith of all their followers, you could almost believe it. The playstyle for the Pretenders favors a powerful general supported by hordes of followers, and their Battle Traits favor that greatly. Their general can have 2 command traits instead of just one (and they are amazing, I assure you) and you can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for any units that have 10 or more models. Combined with the ability to generate an extra hit on 6s for big units, this will make your huge blocks of Daemonettes into enemy blenders. The army also rewards you for getting your general stuck in, as you receive d3 depravity points for having your general within 3” of an enemy unit, or d6 if you’re within 3” of 3 or more.
Because of this, and also because of the double command traits, Keepers of Secrets are perfect generals for Pretenders warhosts (not that they aren’t in all of them, they just really shine here). Strength of Godhood and Strongest Alone are stand out command traits for your leader, as you can increase their already astronomical damage potential and make sure all their deadly attacks hit home. Pendant of Slaanesh is a fantastic artefact for a frontline general since it allows you to heal them d3 wounds every hero phase. Combined with the Sinistrous Hand healing, this can keep your general buried in combat and taking souls for a very long time. A close runner up is the Sliverslash, which lets you add 2 attacks to one of your melee weapons. On a KoS, you’re spoiled for choice with what to pick, as they are all very powerful, but I would again suggest the Hand.
As their name suggests, the Godseekers Host spends all their time scouring the Mortal Realms for remnants of their imprisoned god. As such, they make extensive use of the lithe Steeds of Slaanesh to carry their warriors across the battlefield. In game terms, this translates to letting Seekers count as Battleline in Matched Play, which is huge if you favor a speedy army. Of course, that is not the only juicy thing the Godseekers bring to the tabletop, and the whole army benefits from a fast, aggressive playstyle. First, all units that are a Godseeker Host get +1 to charge, and if you make a charge move you get d3 depravity points, or d6 if 3 or more charge.
Since you’ll be rocketing down the battlefield with your Seekers anyway – which can run 2D6”, charge after running, and re-rolling failed charges – d6 depravity points are almost guaranteed. One command trait that stands out to me is Speed-chaser, which allows the general to retreat and then charge later in the phase. Stick this on a Bladebringer on Exalted Chariot, and you’ll get to abuse their lovely Excess of Blades ability as well as farm depravity points by yo-yo-ing in and out of combat. A good artefact for such a general is the Enrapturing Circlet, which makes enemy units within 3” unable to retreat. While you are spending your time choosing your targets and backing up to ram them again, your opponent will be hopelessly stuck in combat. This is an army that can easily take the game in just a couple turns, and so long as you pick your charges well, could easily delete a unit a turn.
~Which of the Hosts is your favorite? Do you agree with our assessments?