Posted 16/05/2018

Faction Focus: Everchosen and Slaves to Darkness

Welcome to Faction Focus – a new series on Warhammer Community exploring the various armies battling for the fate of the Mortal Realms as we get ready for the launch of the new edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar.

If you’re just taking your first steps in the Mortal Realms, we’ll be running down why you might want to try each army, while if you’re a veteran player, we’ll be checking out what the latest news and rules changes mean for your existing force. In our latest Faction Focus, we’re taking a look at what the new edition means for two core Chaos factions – the Slaves to Darkness and the Everchosen.

While Chaos may have been driven back by Sigmar’s storm, its influence in the Mortal Realms runs deep. From far-flung tribes to ancient and wicked empires, the Chaos Gods are worshipped by many mortals, and their armies are collectively known as the Slaves to Darkness. Often born into societies where worship of the Dark Gods is a necessity of survival, every member of the Slaves to Darkness is a battle-hardened warrior, swollen with dark gifts and forged by decades – or centuries – of warfare. The ultimate aim of any warrior of the Slaves to Darkness is to ascend to daemonhood and serve the Chaos Gods as an immortal Daemon Prince.

There is another path for the mightiest of Chaos champions. The very greatest lords are called to serve in the Varanguard, under Archaon – supreme overlord of Chaos in the Mortal Realms. Archaon is an immortal tyrant, the destroyer who brought the apocalypse to the world-that-was and countless other realities since – now, he has turned his gaze on the Mortal Realms…

In the new edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Archaon and his Chaos hordes are still very much at the forefront of the narrative, and the Varanspire, Citadel of the Everchosen, still dominates the strategically important Allpoints – a fortress at the very heart of the Mortal Realms.

Unleash the Horde!

The forces of the Slaves of Darkness are hugely varied, ranging from the barbarian tribespeople who inhabit the chaotic fringes of the Mortal Realms to legions of steel-clad soldiers or gigantic, terrifying warbeasts. Your army could be a fast-moving horde of horsemen, a collection of chosen champions, or whatever you’d like it to be – the choice is yours.

The Lords of Chaos

The Everchosen – an army where your “basic” cavalry are whole units of Chaos Lords (yes, really). Archaon’s personal army is the most elite in the game – a force made up of truly deadly individuals, where every single model in your army is a match for the heroes of other factions. Archaon himself is without a doubt the scariest character in the game – a master commander, wizard and duellist who can go toe to toe with the gods themselves and win!

Servants of the Dark Gods

Almost every Slaves to Darkness unit can take a Mark of Chaos, representing their dedication to a Chaos God. In practice, this means that your collection can be dedicated to any or all of the Chaos pantheon and used alongside the Maggotkin of Nurgle, the Disciples of Tzeentch, the Hosts of Slaanesh or Blades of Khorne – pick the one whose rules or models you like the best. Just as they do right now, these other forces of the Dark Gods will have their own allegiance abilities in the new edition, if you want to represent the combined legions of Chaos mortals and Daemons.

Warhammer TV’s Martin is an eclectic collector with a vast range of armies – but with the new edition on the horizon, he’s particularly excited by the Slaves to Darkness and the Everchosen.

Warhammer Community: What attracted you to the Slaves to Darkness and Everchosen?

Martin: There is one simple answer to this – Archaon. This is one of my favourite miniatures ever. It looks great and is a lot of fun to use in the game. The Slayer of Kings is such an interesting weapon to use because, when you roll a double six to wound, you kill a hero or monster instantly. With so many varied heroes to ally in from the Chaos Grand Alliance, one of the most fun things about Archaon is finding some of the great combos which he can benefit from. From the brave Bloodstoker who adds +3 to Archaon’s charge to the Harbinger of Decay granting an additional 5+ save against wounds or mortal wounds, there are loads of options to get the best out of the Grand Marshal of the Apocalypse.

Of course, you then add lots of great units – Varanguard are one of the best shock cavalry units in the game when combined with Archaon, Chaos Warriors are super resilient with an extra save against mortal wounds, and the Chaos Sorcerer Lord adds some excellent magical support.

WarCom: What are your top tips for Slaves to Darkness and Everchosen players?

Martin: You pose a limited threat at range, so your priority must be to get into combat as soon as possible. That means you want some fast-moving units. Varanguard, Chaos Knights, Daemon Princes and, of course, Archaon. It’s important to have some elements which fly, too, so adding wings to your Daemon Prince or bringing the Chaos Lord on Manticore will allow you to jump over protective units and get to the supporting elements of your opponent’s army. You can then follow up your attack with a solid line of Chaos Warriors or Chosen, get them on an objective and hold for the rest of the game.

One of the great things about Slaves to Darkness and the Everchosen is that you can takes allies in any other Chaos faction, so you can pick pretty much any unit to fill a niche once your core list is complete.

Warhammer Community: What advice would you give to a new Slaves to Darkness or Everchosen player?

Martin: Take advantage of the epic combat characters. Make sure they are in combat as much as possible and that you take supporting artefacts and spells to get the best out of them.

Get stuck in. With most of your damage coming from combat, every turn you’re not fighting is wasted. Get across the board quickly and charge.

Remember to get the objectives. It can be easy to get carried away when you’re all about combat. Keep in mind the game’s objective and plan accordingly. Maybe add in some Marauder Horsemen as a cheap mobile unit to capture them.

The new edition is great news for every Chaos player, and we don’t think that any Slaves to Darkness or Everchosen players are going to be disappointed by the updates.

The Everchosen, in particular, have a deadly advantage in the new edition with the Overlords of Chaos warscroll battalion. Made up of Archaon, a Gaunt Summoner and a unit of Varanguard – all great units in their own right – this formation means that turn priority is always fifty-fifty, rather than providing either player with an advantage, as well as letting you know if you’re going to get a double turn or not.

Matched play fans will be pleased to know that several units have had their points reduced, including Archaon, the Varanguard, and the Chaos Warshrine – you’ll be able to find these in this year’s edition of the General’s Handbook (which we’ll be previewing in full in time).

There are also a host of changes incoming that we’ll be previewing when the time comes – so there’s even more for Slaves to Darkness and Everchosen to look forward to.

We’ve had loads of questions about Archaon’s command ability in the new edition, and how it will function with heroes all being able to use their unique command abilities. Archaon will be receiving some small changes in the new edition, but his command ability will remain almost unchanged – and will still be one of the most powerful in the game.

We’ll explain all very soon – stay tuned for our preview of command abilities and command points later this week…

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