News for December 2013
Spawn of Chaos
An Overview of the Chaos Units from Warhammer: Diskwars
Warhammer: Diskwars | Published 20 December 2013

“Fear me mortals, for I am the Anointed, the Favoured Son of Chaos, the Scourge of the World. The armies of the gods rally behind me, and its by my will and by my sword that your weakling nations shall fall.”
    –Archaon, Lord of the End Times

The four gods of Chaos, their daemons, and their mortal disciples are deeply entrenched at the root of the Old World and its unending struggles. Ever since their first Great Incursion, the forces of Chaos have posed the greatest threat to the Old World.

Such is the power of Chaos that it alters all it touches. It perverts bodies and minds. Even nature itself is transmuted and corrupted in every place that the influence of Chaos holds sway, and those who serve this power pose such a tremendous threat to the Old World and all its inhabitants largely because they seek not to rule the world, but to consume it utterly.

The Rise of Chaos

In today’s preview of Warhammer: Diskwars, we conclude our review of the four races appearing in the Core Set with an overview of the strategies and units available to the forces of Chaos. Naturally, these forces play differently than those of the other races, and developer Michael Gernes explains how the forces of Chaos threaten to consume the Old World:

“The forces of Chaos encompass fierce armored warriors from the Northern Chaos Wastes, and terrifying daemons from beyond the veil of reality. All are dedicated to winning glory in the eyes of their patron gods. For this reason, Chaos Lords can command armies that call on fearsome physical might and unpredictable magic.

“In Warhammer: Diskwars, Chaos is similar to the Orcs, in that both races favor melee combat and feature several different disks with impact. However, Chaos emphasizes sheer toughness among more of its units and has an affinity toward empowerment effects. The nature of Chaos is also represented by the wide range of abilities available when building an army. A Chaos player can hurl a Bloodthirster into the middle of his opponent’s army, depending on its frenzy keyword ability to kill several enemy disks, or he can use flank to infiltrate Hellstriders into the backfield, setting them up to overrun enemy artillery or deployment zones.

“A Chaos player will tend to do best when he supports his powerful disks in melee combat, ensuring that they survive engagements even as they grind his opponent’s army down to nothing. Chaos players are rewarded for building armies that accentuate their strengths while also including counter-play options such as command card abilities that can be used even by pinned disks.”

Champions of Chaos

In the Warhammer: Diskwars Core Set, the mighty armies of Chaos rally around three fearsome heroes, Valkia the Bloody, Kairos Fateweaver, and Archaon the Everchosen:

 

Valkia the Bloody

The faithful servant of Khorne, the Blood God, Valkia the Bloody is a ferocious, Daemonic melee combatant who relies upon her swift () keyword to strike down her foes in melee before they can wound her. Even should your opponent pin her with one of his disks, you can empower her to grant her the swift () keyword.

 

Kairos Fateweaver

Another Daemonic Hero, Kairos Fateweaver is a powerful Caster capable of calling upon the Winds of Magic to unleash some tremendous surprises. Like Valkia the Bloody, Kairos Fateweaver can use the flying keyword to bypass difficult terrain and enemy disks to get into an ideal position. Then he can damage enemy units with Magic 3 or focus to summon another Daemonic unit from the reserves. Imagine reinforcing a Bloodthirster right on top of a pile of enemy units, including your opponent’s most dangerous Hero… Kairos Fateweaver can do that.

 

Archaon the Everchosen

Finally, Archaon the Everchosen is the Favoured Son of Chaos, a skilled warrior, a shrewd general, and a powerful Caster. Eternally marked by Chaos, Archaon enters the battlefields of Warhammer: Diskwars with Impact 2 and a potent ability that heralds his arrival: “When this disk engages an enemy, deal 1  to each enemy within short range.” It’s worth noting, here, that this means Archaon’s Impact value is effectively a “3” since he deals an extra point of damage to the enemy he engages, as well as all other enemies within short range.

Meanwhile, by dealing a single point of damage to all enemies within short range of his engagement, Archaon weakens his foes to the point where Chaos Magic or Kurgan Marauders can finish off most of them.

The Hordes

Each army in Warhammer: Diskwars brings its own personality and strategies to the table. We explored how the Empire’s units allow savvy generals to form a wide variety of strategies, each of which can offer tremendous tactical flexibility. We saw how the Orc army’s units supply the sheer brutality that its Warbosses desire, and we also learned how the High Elves call upon their units and the defensive abilities they offer to control the course of a battle before the enemy’s first blade can strike.

The units that comprise the hordes of Chaos introduce yet another approach to the game – one that combines some of the game’s toughest non-unique units with a variety of abilities intended to disrupt your opponent’s plans. Many of these units are Daemonic, including the Flamers, Plaguebearers, Bloodcrushers, Bloodthirster, and Hellcannon.

 

Flamers

Flamers are the basic ranged Chaos unit, offering three attack dice at medium range, each of which threatens to deal three  damage if it hits.

 

Plaguebearers

Plaguebearers nullify all empowerment tokens from enemies within short range. Depending on when you activate the Plaguebearers in a round, they can both prevent your opponent from empowering the disks he sends against your hero and then move to nullify the empowerment tokens your opponent placed on disks within short range of the Plaguebearers’ four movement. This is a powerful ability, but one that’s balanced by the fact their slow keyword means they generally have to survive their foes’ melee damage before they deal their own. Fortunately, they also have five toughness.

 

Bloodcrushers

If you believe the influence of Chaos should be represented mechanically with randomized effects, then the Bloodcrushers are for you. At six toughness, they’re one of the toughest units in the game, tougher even than most heroes, and their offensive output is also solid with both four attack strength and four counter strength. However, it’s their Impact d6 that really makes them stand out. If the dark gods are with you, the Bloodcrushers can run right over any enemy unit in the game; if the winds of change blow the other way, though, your Bloodcrushers will only scratch their foe before entering the Melee Phase.

Bloodthirster

Anyone who doesn’t fear the Bloodthirster doesn’t fully understand his situation. This elite Daemonic unit is among the game’s toughest, hardest hitting, and most lethal disks.

Not only does it pair six attack strength with five counter strength, it combines them both with the frenzy keyword and a special ability that reads, “If an enemy is dealt  during an engagement with this disk, it takes another .” This makes the Bloodthirster a first-class threat to any unit with stamina, especially your opponent’s heroes, and the threat doesn’t go away if your opponent pins your Bloodthirster: The command card, Blood for the Blood God, allows you to resolve a single engagement before the Melee Phase, potentially allowing your Bloodthirster to fell any enemy with which your foe is foolish enough to pin it. Then, of course, you can fly your Bloodthirster over to your enemy’s toughest disks to destroy them.

Hellcannon

The second large Chaos disk, the Hellcannon is another elite Daemonic unit, and like the Bloodcrushers, it’s one that should appeal to those players who crave random effects amid their Chaos forces.

This War Machine combines a brutal siege attack of three dice with Impact 5, making it a potent threat at any range. Furthermore, if the Hellcannon rolls one or more  results during a ranged attack, it flips once toward the nearest disk that it is not pinning. While this means the Hellcannon could potentially roll over your own troops, any commander worthy of the Ruinous Powers will figure out how to increase the chances that the Hellcannon’s  results will spur it toward his enemies, rather than his own troops.

The Armies Are Marching to the Field of Battle

The release of Warhammer: Diskwars is now just a week away. This examination of the forces of Chaos concludes our previews of the different units available in the Core Set, but these previews are by no means exhaustive. You’ll find plenty of other tricks and tactics to exploit as you war for control of the Old World and its battlefields.

In the meantime, as you wait for the Core Set to arrive, keep your eyes open for your opportunity to download the full Warhammer: Diskwars rulebook!

Warhammer: Diskwars is an epic game of heroes, armies, and brutal warfare for 2 - 4 players. At the game's heart art its disks, which represent heroes and units from the Old World. These maneuver across the battlefield by flipping end over end, and if any two disks overlap at the end of the round, they must fight!

    
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