Age of Sigmar: ‘Reign of the Brute’ Brings The Thunder
Dawnbringers: Book II – Reign of the Brute is coming and it’s going to rumble your ear drums with all that thunder.
I hope everyone is ready for a big meta shake-up in Age of Sigmar. But it’s probably not coming from the armies you think. Dawnbringers: Book II – Reign of the Brute has four new Armies of Renown and we’re going to rank each one. We’re basing this one on how much an impact we think they will have on their current army and the overall meta. Do we have any data? NO — it’s too early for that. So these are the initial reaction rankings we gave them.
#4 King Brodd’s Stomp
This Army of Renown heavily revolves around King Brodd. While this one isn’t bad this does also feel like a “no brainer” option if you’re already running King Brodd. It’s got some tweaks to their Mightier Makes Rightier rules for Mega-Gargants as that number become their “counts-as this many models” when contesting objectives. King Brodd also gets a 5+ ward while he’s within 3″ of any friendly units.
Additionally, you get a once per phase Smash It All To Bits attack. This is a combo as it allows you to sunder a terrain feature while also getting to throw that terrain at an enemy 18″ away. There’s also another Monstrous Rampage option that allows you to charge 3D6″ and stomp units for D3 along the way.
The Grand Strat doesn’t seem crazy to pull off if you’re using the Smash It All To Bits option during the game. And the Battle Tactics are okay. There are three new artefacts of power and three new command traits — they are mostly fine. But again, if you’re running King Brodd this one feels like a good option to try out. It’s not a super game changer or real meta-shaker which is why we’re ranking it at #4 on our list.
#3 Trugg’s Troggherd
First up, yes they still get the Bad Moon. And yes, they (the Troggs) still get access to Moonlit Hides for a +1 to their saves. So that 4+ save that Trugg has base becomes a 3+ when under the light of the Bad Moon. But really this army is essentially designed as an army of all Troggs which was already kind of a thing.
Because the Gloomspite Gitz already had a viable Troggoth build this one seems a little redundant. The addition of Trugg is the entire point of this Army of Renown and, yes, he’s good. He buffs all your other Troggs, and the Battle Tactics are doable. The Grand Strat revolves around keeping Trugg alive while you kill all the enemy heroes off. It feels like a “win more” option as if you were going to pull that off…you probably already won.
So we’re ranking this at #3 because it’s not going to really change the Trogg army for Gloomspite Gitz. They were already good and this gives them a hero and some new options to play with. Kind of like King Brodd’s army, this one doesn’t really fundamentally change things up — it just allows them to do a thing they were already gonna do…but more of that. Oh and all the Troggs that aren’t heroes are battleline. So no need to bring the gitz.
#2 Grunta Stampede
Are you wanting to go…hog wild?! Do you have bacon on the brain? Is a roll in the mud like a piglet enticing to you? Well, you’re going to love the Grunta Stampede. If you were hoping to be able to run an entire army of Gruntas then this one’s for you. First up every unit in the army has to have the Maw-Grunta or Gore-Grunta keyword for the Army of Renown.
They have their own Grunta WAAAGH! that causes D3 mortal wounds to any enemy units successfully charged by any Maw-Grunta units. Gore-Gruntas are also all battleline now. Also the Maw-Gruntas don’t lose 1 momentum on the first battle round and they also get two new Monstrous Rampages from this Army of Renown.
The only get one new command trait but they have 3 more Mount Traits and all of those seem genuinely useful. Their artefact of power allows for the bearer to issue commands to any friendly units on the battlefield and when they do they can cause 1 mortal wound to an enemy that was within 3″ of them. Not too shabby.
The Grand Strategy requires your General to be alive and to have gotten up to 6 momentum at any point during the game. Two of the three Battle tactics also seem doable while one seem like a “win more” option where you need 3 Maw-Gruntas alive and to have each of them with a momentum score of 5+.
The Grunta Stampede is #2 on our list because this army changes up the Ironjawz enough that it could shake that army up. You can’t use a Maw-Krusha with this list. And you can’t bring any other support that’s not on a Maw-Grunta or Gore-Grunta. It’s all pig-cav all the time. Those trade offs are steep and that’s why this army will play different, hence why this is our #2 choice.
#1 Grundstok Expeditionary Force
Have you ever looked at an army’s rules and thought “GW, why would you do that?!” Well, that’s how I feel about the Grundstok Expeditionary Force. It’s going to be all Grundstok Thunderers and Grundstok Gunhaulers. Oh and non-unique Heroes, too. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is their special rule Grudgesettler Protocols which reads as follows:
In any phase, each time a friendly Grundstok Expeditionary Force unit has shot or fought for the first time in that phase, you can roll a dice. On a 4+, that unit can shoot or fight for a second time in that phase. However, you must subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks made this way.
There’s a designer’s note that basically says “yes, this applies to Unleash Hell as well.” So yes, all those Thunderers have a 50/50 shot to fire twice. Every. Time.
Furthermore, they also have a new Rapid Redeployment which breaks the core rule of allowing a unit to embark and disembark in the same phase. They can’t charge when they do that…but hey, it’s not like they were going to charge anyway. Get ready for them to start away safely, float up, deploy, and blast your army off the table.
At this point I stopped caring about anything else this army had because it’s all just icing on the cake. You’re going to see this army pop up as the Kharadron Overlords players bust these guys out and literally pop-off with the Thunderers. This army will impact the meta. This army will shake up the KO army. This army is going to be a problem. That is why it’s our #1 Army of Renown from the new Dawnbringers Book.
And people wonder why I don’t like units with guns in Age of Sigmar…well, I think you’re about to find out.