Age of Sigmar: How to Play Fyreslayers
Today we look into the Fyreslayers and offer a few tips for leading an army of angry blacksmiths.
In the style of Ungrim Ironfist and the infamous Gotrek (though don’t ever compare them to his face), the Fyreslayers are a group of angry berserker dwarves so metal they hammer forge heated runes into their bodies and live in the heart of volcanos. They ride into battle on massive Salamanders or burst from the ground on thermal vents, bringing axes hot from the kiln to cleave their enemies or firing chunks of molten rock that rapidly cools around the legs of enemy monsters. So if you want to bring the raging heart of the mountain to bear against your opponent, here are some quick and dirty tips for running Fyreslayers.
Who Are the Fyreslayers?
The Fyreslayers are one of the two unique Duardin forces that exist in the Realms (the other being the sky-faring Kharadron Overlords), and they chose to follow the tenants of the god Grimnir, the god of battle. They wear little armor, if they wear any at all, instead relying on the runes hammered into their flesh and their natural constitution to shrug off wounds before responding with a fiery wrath. They are also master blacksmiths, and forge masterwork weapons that retain the heat of the forge indefinitely, and draw their power from a series of powerful enchanted runes.
Why Play Fyreslayers?
Fyreslayers are an army that favors aggression and is surprisingly resilient for a force of naked dwarves. They have a lot of cool special abilities in the form of prayers, they have a very cool fire motif, and you get to bring a glowing pizza oven to the battlefield. What’s not to love?
- Powerful heroes that bring a lot of force multipliers to the battlefield
- Resilience is common among duardin armies
- Your primary battleline can fight as it dies
- Powerful prayers that your opponent can do nothing about
- Every turn you get to activate a powerful rune that buffs your army for the turn.
- You’re dwarves, so you won’t be winning any foot races.
- Your shooting is a little subpar so you’re easy to navigate around.
- You need your heroes alive, but you also need them in combat. The balance can be a little delicate.
- While you have a large roster of heroes, your non-Hero choices are a bit lacking
- Not beginner-friendly
- Ur-Gold Runes – Every hero phase, you get to activate one of 6 runes to last until your next hero phase. They can only be used once per battle each, so you’ll want to be careful when you use each one, but they all have powerful effects such as increasing your Move, letting you re-roll your hit rolls, or empowering your melee weapons. What’s more, every time you activate a rune you roll a d6, and if you roll a 6 the rune is empowered, providing an even greater effect.
- Fierce Counter-Attack – This command ability lets your Hearthguard and Vulkite units strike back against charging enemies, making them just as deadly on the defense as the charge.
- Grimwrath Oaths – Every Grimwrath swears an oath during battle, swearing to the gods and their allies to perform a variety of deeds. To do so, they receive a suite of special rules, each depending on their oath. This varies from a ward save or hit and wound buff to dishing out mortal wounds. Grimwraths are a staple in a Fyreslayer army, so these just make them more inticing.
The subfactions for the Fyreslayers are called lodges, and each one has a unique style of fighting. You’ve got the aggressive Vostarg, the mercenary Greyfyrd, the innovative Hermdar, and the pious Lofnir. Each offers its own unique command abilities, artifacts, and special abilities, so pick the one you like best, they all have their draw.
The magic pizza oven makes your priests stronger, so long as you leave one nearby to stoke it. It can also super charge them once per battle, but then it burns out.
5 Key Fyreslayers Units
Fyreslayers are a small army, and their power comes from their heroes more than almost any other faction. Here are the top 5, and a unit you’ll almost always want to consider.
Auric Runefather – Your primary leader, he comes in the on-foot or mounted flavor. Whether you take him mounted or not will depend on your Lodge choice. In the old days, you almost never wanted him on foot, but thanks to the Royal Retinue rule of the infantry variety, they’re worth considering. Of course, in Lofnir, they’ll always be mounted up, as will most of your army.
Battlesmith – A combination banner bearer and skjald, the Battlesmith is your defensive force multiplier, and you do NOT want to leave him at home. He hands out a 6+ ward save to all Fyreslayers wholly within 12″, and once per battle can kick that up to a 5+. What’s more, so inspiring is this warrior that when he issues the Rally command, he returns warriors on a 4+ rather than just a 6. Buy him, then build your army around him.
Auric Runemaster – One of the two priests available, and my favorite of the two. Aside from knowing EVERY prayer in the Fyreslayers arsenal, he can advise a general within 3″ for an extra command point (which is always if the general is him). His warscroll prayer is pretty powerful as well, especially against armies that like to hug scenery. Use the after effect to cover the approach of your mighty but slow warriors.
Grimwrath Berserker – Easily the deadliest hero in your arsenal, thanks in no small part to his various oaths. He gets to fight a second time at the end of the combat phase on a 2+, and if he is killed in the combat phase, he gets to fight before he dies. For added hilarity give him the Arcane Tome and Flaming Weapon and watch him ruin his enemies.
Hearthguard Berserkers – The real muscle of the army, and if you take a Runefather as your general they become battleline too. They can either take Broadaxes for a point of Rend and Damage 2 or Flamestrike Poleaxes which have no Rend and only one damage, but on a 6 to hit they dish out 2 additional mortal wounds. In addition, they have a 4+ ward save while wholly within 9″ of a friendly Fyreslayers hero, making them perfect as a retinue unit. They aren’t the auto-include they used to be, but if you have a foot Lord they can’t be ignored.
Sample Army (1000 pts)
Leader: Auric Runefather.
Battleline: 1o Hearthguard Berserkers. Berserker Broadaxes. Retinue
Battleline: 20 Vulkite Berserkers. Fyresteel Handaxes.
How to Play Fyreslayers
Fyreslayers want to be aggressive, getting into combat as soon as possible and staying there until the foe is dead. Try to pop your move rune early to hit the battleline and then just hammer on the pain. If you like aggression and want to remove units at a time, this is the army for you.