BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Goatboy’s Warhammer 40K Thoughts: Vashtorr & Azrael – Are They Worth It?

5 Minute Read
Mar 13 2023

Goatboy here with the lowdown on 40K’s newest pair of characters, Master Azrael, and Vashtorr the Arkifane.

It is another glorious day in the Warhammer 40K universe.  We got some new rules not attached to a campaign book as the lovely overlords of the 40K universe release the rules in their glorious PDF shell of awesomeness.  Yup – we got some free rules to accompany a new Wrath of the Soul Forge King boxed set and while they are not ground breaking – there is something interesting this forbidden PDF’s.

Dark Angels Chapter Master Azrael

First up, we’ll talk about the simple release – Azrael. He has crossed the Rubicon of the Primaris and has fully grown into a bigger boy.  This is something I expect to see for all the Space Marine heroes that still have dinky Finecast models on teeny tiny bases.  You can probably guess the next one that will be incoming at some point in the future.  But we’ll leave that speculation for a later article.


Azrael gets all the big stuff you see with Primaris upgrades.  All his rules basically stay the same. He usually hits harder with more attacks, and is tougher with a bunch more wounds.  He is a Chapter Master for your Dark Angels and has all the fun things you expect with Deathwing, Inner Circle, and all those other goodies.  He gives you more Command points to. But again he is pretty much the same except for the few extra stuff that comes with getting the Primaris tax on your point cost.

Basically if you were using him before, you will probably use him again in his new form.  I don’t think he will show up in the current “All Deathwing” lists we see just due to the nature of not needing that 4+ inv save due to all the storm shields the army has.  If a horde Infantry army comes out for Dark Angels then this guy will stride to the front in all his glory.

Vashtorr the Arkifane

The next new release is of course Vashtorr – the not-Daemon Prince who wants to become the 5th Chaos God of evil machines.  This model looks pretty cool, but his rules leave a lot on the tabletop.  He costs a ton for a 14 wound model that doesn’t have the protection that other big models have.  There is a reason Be’lakor punked him in the storyline.


The biggest thing in all of this is he doesn’t seem to do too much for the giant Lord of Skulls and other bigger Lords of War with these abilities.  He has some weak attacks too which all just feels odd.  Why is his Heavy Flamer type of weapon not better with more wounds potential?  Why is his Thunder Hammer just a Thunder Hammer and not some crazy smashing thing.  It just feels very weird when you compare him to things like Be’lakor, Lord Discordant, Angron, and other big monsters or characters on the Chaos side of things.

Heck, how he boosts stuff is weird too – and quite limited.   Why doesn’t he help Chaos Knights?  Or Daemon Engines for Chaos Daemons? Why is he limited to just Chaos Space Marine ones as it just feels a little odd.  Shouldn’t he work with anyone? He says he’s the manifestation of all warp-infused technology.  Plus he is pretty expensive for a squishy model.  His pure Dataslate just feels off – and weak – for what should be a future Chaos God.

Vashtorr’s current rules are just too low level to justify his point cost.  I would think just amping up some of his damage potential would be the easiest solution. Perhaps with either some kind of cool concussive attack with the hammer, a flamer that has two shooting options, and just a cool weird sweep aspect.  How hard would it be to have given Vashtorr a flamer like the Tau Relic one?  Maybe he stole it or secretly gave them that tech?

Cogs of Vashtorr – New Army of Renown

But this model isn’t all doom and gloom. On top of him GW did release an Army of Renown – the Cogs of Vashtorr that seems very interesting.  It is a Daemon Engine army that is designed to amp those models up with a few set of rules to help them out.  Their Legion Trait is basically giving them all exploding hits at all times, which seems pretty cool.  On top of that, they have some Stratagems that can easily help them out and a few relics to help pump up a Daemon Engine.

I really like this Army of Renown as I have always wanted to make a Daemon Engine army.  In fact, we’ll see a list for Friday as it feels like an interesting addition to the Chaos Space Marine options.  The Relics all look good. While a Stratagem that you have to spend should just be a rule Vashtorr has, it isn’t a bad rule.  I just wish it was as an Aura that was on all the time.  Heck, it is another thing that should just be on his rule sheet to make his point cost worth it.  I really like the Advance, Shoot and Charge strat for 1CP, which seems pretty amazing.


There is a lot to unpack with that Army of Renown. It should be an interesting thought piece for players to look at and decide to just have a fun army for an event.  You move up, cast some spells with your Master of Possession, and then bring the mechanical pain to town.  As you continue on in this game and just look at some of the Meta – going with something fun might just make the weekend a much more exciting adventure in the lands of mechanical monsters of doom.

Which do you like more, Azrael or Vashtorr?

  • Minis Spotlight: Old School Marine, Electrifying Yndrasta, Gladiator Ready for a Fight