Age of Sigmar: How to Play Hedonites of Slaanesh
Today we take a look at the basics of how to play the Hedonites of Slaanesh in Age of Sigmar. Ready to give in to temptation?
The worship of Slaanesh can be found anywhere that pleasure, pain, or really anything is done to a startling excess. So it makes sense that not every worshipper would honor the Dark Prince in the same manner. As his followers sought him across the Realms, they divided into several distinct factions. Here’s how to get the most out of their unique playstyle.
Who are the Hedonites of Slaanesh?
Slaanesh is a fickle god. Though he doles out fabulous blessings to those who dole out pain or pleasure in his name, his favor is easily swayed. Hedonites of Slaanesh are the vast armies of hedonists that follow or once followed Slaanesh, the lost god. None can say what has become of the Dark Prince of Perversion but his followers still seek him, or look to supplant him.
Most mortal warbands are comprised of mortal devotees known as Sybarites. From the lowly Blissbarb Archers to the mightiest champion, they exemplify their own sins to a horrific extent on the battlefield. Examples like the Slickblade Seekers, the pain-obsessed blademasters of the Myrmidesh and their egotistical, daemon-touched kin known as the Symbaresh.
The worship of Slaanesh often starts with a simple demand from the deity, to pursue their innermost desires without restraint or regret. This edict has become popular and prominent amongst bastions of civilisation. Failing artists, struggling playwrights and overworked citizens are common victims to this command, since Slaanesh provides these people a muse or simple succour. The gatherings of such souls are clandestine, the pleasures experienced in these private groups often start benign, it is a simple reprieve from everyday life.
Why Play Hedonites?
Slaanesh are aesthetically magnificent. Anyone who revels in the pleasure and pain of the Purple Prince will love assembling all of their delightfully pointy model kits. In addition the Hedonites have a cache of excellent synergistic rules, allowing them to buff, debuff, summon additional units, and just generally be a lot harder than they look on paper.
- Lots of Tricks. Between Temptation Dice and other various control mechanics, you can force the opponent into some tough spots.
- Escalating strength- Revel in Depravity generally means your units get stronger as the game goes on.
- Great Command Traits- you can make your Slanneshi General seriously irritating!
- Elite numbers- you often won’t have a lot of board presence without Summoning, but then you are are giving up Depravity bonus’.
- No fast, tanky units. You have very fast units (all forms of Seeker) and tough units (Myrmidesh with a native 3+), but you don’t have any that are both.
Signature Hedonites of Slaanesh Rules
Every Hedonites army has the following special rules:
- Euphoric Killers – one unit in each of your combat phases generates Depravity by dealing damage.
- Temptation of Slaanesh – offer your opponent a free ‘6’- if they take it you get D6 Depravity.
- Revel in Depravity – the chart of abilities generated by Depravity. At top bracket of 36 Depravity your whole army is -1 to hit, exploding 6s in combat, and a 5+ Ward save!
The terrain for a Hedonites army is the Fane, which acts as a summoning point for your daemons. It also offers you the opportunity to sacrifice blood or treasures for power. If you don’t mind chucking your artefact into the portal, the rewards are definitely worth it.
Key Hedonites of Slaanesh Units
Hedonites of Slaanesh want a few strong, fast heroes with good support to back them up, and these five units fit the bill perfectly.
1. Lord of Pain
A surprisingly durable and deadly hero, with a built-in 4+ Ward that can rebound wounds and mortal wounds on the enemy, a command ability to empower nearby units significantly, and a nasty close combat weapon.
2. Myrmidesh Painbringers
Arrogant, masterful, and deadly warriors, these mighty warriors play the part of both hammer and anvil, combining incredible damage potential with decently strong durability. An excellent escort for your Lord of Pain general to keep him deep behind enemy lines.
Extremely fast, reasonably cheap battleline that can scythe down enemies with surprising efficiency. They make a good screen or pick for Euphoric Killers against the right (soft) target.
4. Keeper of Secrets
The big daemon of Slaanesh is an excellent General. The Keeper has a massive selection of Command Trait/Artefact options and good damage to make a seriously irritating General. Even in a mounted army, it has the speed to keep up.
5. Slickblade Seekers
An incredibly fast unit with a ridiculous amount of damage potential. On the charge this is one of your best picks for Euphoric Killers.
6. Blissbarb Archers
Slaanesh is all about the pain and nothing hurts more than an arrow to the knee. These fact and active Archers provide the army with a considerable ranged threat and can have the entire army built around them.
7. Fiends of Slaanesh
These slithering and sensual Daemons hits hard with their envenomed tails. They also are a lot tougher than they look thanks to Soporific Musk.
8. Sigvald, Prince of Slaanesh
The man in gold and purple is the foremost mortal follower of Slaanesh and an exquisite duelist. Powered by Vainglory means he has an incredibly reliable charge move.
Sample Hedonites of Slaanesh Army (2K)
– Host: Pretenders Host
– Triumphs: Inspired
Keeper of Secrets*
– Shining Aegis
– Command Trait: Strength of Goodhood
– Artefact: The Crown of Dark Secrets
– Spell: Phantasmagoria
Lord of Pain*
Lord of Hubris*
11 x Blissbarb Archers *
11 x Blissbarb Archers *
22 x Blissbarb Archers *
– Reinforced x 1
5 x Myrmidesh Painbringers *
10 x Slickblade Seekers *
– Reinforced x 1
How to Play Hedonites of Slaanesh
Hedonites are an excellent debuff army. They can stack minuses to hit, some to wound, reduce attacks – the whole shebang. One thing that’s key is picking your Euphoric Killers correctly each round, as that is your biggest source of Depravity Points. Choosing which of your units will be able to maximize damage, and then doing so, is key. Beyond that, they are fast, have some great combat pieces, and decent shooting. Overall Hedonites are a mid-floor, high ceiling type of army, that will greatly benefit from a subtle, deft hand.