Welcome to our review of the new Kharadron Overlords battletome from us on Age of Warhammer and the Battle Bunnies. I was very excited about this book as I am a big fan of Warhammer Dwarves and it has not been a disappointment!
So I do have a lot to say about this book, so the review will look at the aesthetics of the book, what it includes and how good the Overlords seem to be from a gaming perspective. I won't be writing much about the fluff but will add in some interesting points that I have found. There will also be a lot of pictures, however, (As much as I would like to share it) I'm not allowed to post pictures of all of the warscrolls, rules or points so just expect snippets from the Warhammer Tv Stream.
So the book does have some negatives obviously but I'll get to them at the end. So to begin the book is just like anything you would expect from games workshop, beautifully made in hardback and stands at 144 pages! Much better than the Ironjawz book!
So whats in the book....
As you can see there is a lot rammed into the book! I don't think I need to talk too much about the Overlords as I am sure you all know about them being pirate/mercenary dwarves who hunt for riches and aether gold in the mortal realms. If you are interested in the fluff, Atia has done a post focusing on this over on War of Sigmar.
There is some pretty awesome artwork in here as you can see from the pictures below...
Also rather than me trying to explain it here's some of the fluff about the sky fleets!
Now this is the interesting part that myself and Atia found whilst looking through the book, first of all the obvious weird looking dragons? Or are these wingless and legless snake monsters the same as the little monster we saw in the one of the suspected Aelve rumour engine pictures...
Here they mention the Harkraken, Chimera and Megalofin?
Airborne Grots also mentioned above and in this picture below...
So an exciting prospect for in the future, the Grotbag scuttlers sound like an amazing idea for an army! Lets all pray for pirate goblins lol. Also some interesting artwork giving you an idea of how the Overlords operate in the mortal realms. Following these seams of Aether-gold...
So onto the next talking point, the 'eavy metal part of the battletome looks brilliant as usual, my photos late at night aren't really doing the models much justice, but I think I will find these pages really useful for painting.
I also think despite their weird appearance these guys will be some of the most commonly seen models in Overlord armies, they are fast units with a decent save and some very good weaponry!
A really cool addition to the new battletomes although it is quite basic, there are paint guides for all six of the major skyports. I'm not sure if this means that we wont be seeing paperback paint guides anymore due to them being included in the new books. I personally hope that isn't the case!
Another great addition, is also how to paint symbols on the armour and other useful tips like weathering and painting the blue glowing portholes.
Path to Glory
There is also a path to glory campaign system in here like the other battletomes, which as always is great.
How to play with the Kharadron Overlords
So this again seems to be another new section to the battletomes. It explains some simple tactics and strategies to playing with your overlords army!
It also goes into how to theme your army like basing it on one of the major sky ports, which is what I am going to move onto next.
The Major Skyports
Now things are getting a little more interesting as we move onto the six mjor skyports. I can only reveal what has already been shown on the Warhammer tv live stream and that is Barak-Thryng and rules for Barak-Nar.
A very interesting scheme for this skyport and the smallest of the big six. Next is a look at some of the rules bonuses the Barak-Nar skyport has the ability to use.
So these are all different for the major skyports but they do use some generic ones, which can be taken from the build your own skyport table. Unfortunately there was not a picture of that shown.
I do think these major ports definitely have the better rules though compared to the table, although the major ports do not have the not have ability to tailor your list build very much.
As you can see Barak-Nar has a real affinity for unbinding spells and some good battleshock bonuses for the army. This faction could be good against the many Slyvaneth and Tzeentch armies we are seeing at the moment.
So I am now going to talk about the Kharadron Overlords from a gaming point of view. Obviously a lot of games will need to be played with the army before we see its true strengths and weaknesses but here is my initial take on how good I think they will be. Firstly I'll go through the pros and cons and then we'll have a look at some units.
Having had a good read of the book and all its options, its easy to see that the main strength of the overlords is their shooting ability. Lots of high rend and fairly long range weapons at up to 24 inch range, isn't too shabby.
The next major positive for a Dwarf army is the movement gained. The Erdrinriggers, Skywardens and ships can all move a considerable distance and there are also bonuses in the army allegiance for increasing that movement. Also Brokk Grungsson is a very quick hero which could be very useful for three places of power.
Next the ability to pick and chose abilities and artefacts makes the army adaptable and gives you the ability to even improve your ships which you can see in the section below this.
The Arkanauts are also a very good unit from a shooting point of view as they can take special weapons.
They do have very good heroes. The admiral and aether chemist are excellent and the chemist can give out some great buffs.
There are also lots of units and builds to choose from so lots of variety and opportunity for changing tactics and strategy.
The Endrinriggers and Skywardens are some of the best units available in my intial opinion, as they movement, good combat weapons and the ability to take ranged weaponry too.
Its always a lot easier to look into the negatives but I do think there are quite a few with the army.
They as a whole have a very low bravery, this is very apparent on the Arkanauts. A lot of the abilities that can be chosen do buff this but it then means you are not taking a better ability from the table.
This low bravery is made worse when you see how fragile the army is. Again the Arkanauts bare the brunt of this but their 5+ save and one wound makes them easy to kill with anything with a -1 rend. Therefore you could lose five in a combat phase so then making a battleshock test with no buffs could be disastrous.
This leads onto another major weakness. They don't really have any unit that can take damage and stick around, other than the Ironclad for a considerable points investment. You will get to see what I mean when the book is released. I do think they have the armour saves wrong on the ships.. considering they have an iron hull?! So this makes the other ships pretty weak in a fight even with the amount of wounds they have.
This lack of combat unit, could really make it difficult for the army when taking objectives, as they just won't be able to keep alive. Even Gore Gruntas could do some damage here! Yes GW please make them better! But again the ships aren't too survivable either so in my opinion they still aren't a great option.
It is also an expensive elite army if you looking at using points, so you can't really take lots of ships in a 2,000 point list. Maybe three frigates or four grundstok gunhalers with battleline and heroes included. A bit pricey in my opinion.
A lot of the ships are also very reliant on their main gun. Even though it can do considerable damage if you miss then that is really all you have for doing damage other than on the ironclad which has some torpedoes. So gaining re rolls for the army is a must in my opinion.
So you might be thinking what about the battalions? Maybe they could improve the armies fortunes?
Unfortunately with only five, we are a bit limited. I think they have made them a bit too specific for matched play. As when you include all of the required units you are at around two thirds of your 2000 point list.
To top that off the abilities gained from them are a little bit underwhelming, other than a couple which do give some useful abilities away, but it depends on what units you want to include in your army. One has Stormcast in it! Very interesing.
However, I don't think it makes too much of a difference to the army as you already get plenty of abilities.
The army doesn't really have many units that can provide mortal wound damage. They have the bombs and mines but they are mostly 1 damage and are very situational in how you can use them.
So lets have a look at a few of the few units we got to see on the Warhammer Tv feed. These are just screenshots.
So this is what I was talking about, low bravery, wound and armour. However, they have some great weapons with the rend and D3 damage and you can inlcude up to three of them! Also glory seekers looks like a great rule, getting those re rolls is key for the army.
Next the Endrinmaster! Another really good hero for the army. The ability to heal the skyvessels is great. but how many points do you want to invest in that one ship particularly if it isn't putting a huge amount of damage out. I think he would be good in an ironclad though.
Also like brokk and the admiral, a very solid combat hero and a lovely model to boot. I'll definitely be buying one.
I really like this hero, not great in combat but an auto include in any overlords army. He can sit behind the Arkanauts and with a buff can do some good damage with his watering can and then can also buff the Arkanauts! A great hero!
Not so initially keen on this unit. They look great on paper but for me lack any good distance on the better guns. There is lots of room for experimenting with this unit though which is cool. But they are really the only unit I can see being able to stick around for a bit longer with the retreat ability and the 4+ save.
The Decksweeper looks to have the most potential for me. But you would need a lot of boxes of them to create a unit with all of them having that gun. Unless the sprue gives you all the options. Which I doubt it will.
This screenshot gives you a good idea of what the Ironclad can do. It can only take one of the top three weapons but has the torpedoes which are a good addition to the main gun.
The Sky cannons are common in the army which is great but their one attack means its all or nothing.
Kharadron Overlords Allegiance
This is a really good part about the new book, you get the usual command abilities and there are a couple of very useful ones for your general.
Then you get to pick three abilities from a table, if you are creating your own skyport. Which as mentioned before really gives you a lot to choose from. However, the major skyports have the best abilities available and they are mostly unique.
Then you can chose from the artefacts. By the looks of things its one for your general plus another one for another hero if you have a battalion. These have some great options on two separate tables.
Finally there are the Great Endrinworks which are as you can see for one of your ships to take!
So in conclusion I think its an excellent book. I am really loving the new format they have been given recently, I just wish the Ironjawz were lucky enough to have a book like this! The inclusion of so many sections is great to see as well. Particularly the painting guides, hints and tips.
If you like the look of fast shooty dwarfs then this is a great army. I think it will be really fun to play and experiment with but I don't think it will be particularly competitive at this stage. However, there are some really good abilities, buffs and synergies in the book which I can see people playing very well. I think the lack of a combat unit, is going to trouble them, but again without playing games there's only so much you can find out. Maybe a mixed order list could be the way to go.
I am also working on a Kharadron Overlords army so I'll hopefully be able to show you what I have been working on over the next week.
So unfortunately I can't give away anymore information about the rules or points in the book. The images I have on here are fluff based or from the Warhammer TV stream so I can talk about them as they have been officially shown on the stream. Any questions about the review just fire away below :).
Thanks for reading,