Getting Started with Stormcast Eternals
Hailing from the heavens of Azyr come Sigmar’s five century gambit for defeating the Forces of Chaos and finally liberating the Mortal Realms: the immortal golden warriors known as the Stormcast Eternals. Heroes from different eras reborn in the storm, the Stormcast Eternals descend from on high to defend the innocent and the undefended, housing themselves in the cities that span across the Mortal Realms. Forming Stormhosts under the banners of these cities, the Stormcast Eternals continue to fight the forces of darkness, from the Daemons that continue to corrupt the realms, to the unending tide of Undeath spurring from Shyish, the Realm of Death.
The Stormcast Eternals are the undisputed poster boys of the game, and undeniably have the largest army thanks to their wide variety of heroes and units. Their play style is a jack of all trades balanced army, having units with reasonable defences to hold points and heroes with varied abilities for most situations. They have been regarded as a great army for new players for their simplicity and easy-to-learn tactics. One drawback to this army is the lack of mortal wound ignorance, which can dismantle their defences very quickly, while any minus modifiers to their average Bravery can hurt units if you aren’t too careful.
The Stormcast Eternals have two unique abilities when you select them as your force. The first is Scions of the Storm, which allows you to take part of your army (rounding down) into reserve. Then partway through the battle at the end of the movement phase, you can deploy them anywhere more than 9’’ away from the enemy. Due to the Stormcasts relatively slow movement, this is a great ability to get your hard-hitters up the board quickly - deploy them before round 4 or they will be counted a being slain. The second ability is Shock and Awe, which when a unit is set up on the battlefield, they are -1 to hit until your next turn. Great if you’ve failed your charges after using Scions of the Storm, helping you to not get shot down in the same turn.
The units in a Stormcast Eternals army are broken into four Chambers; Warrior, Vanguard, Sacrosanct and Extremis.
The Warrior Chamber is where the bulk of the army comes from. They command most of the basic types of infantry the Stormcast have to offer, from the shield-wielding Liberators as Battleline, to the hammer-wielding Retributors as big damage dealers. The heroes of this chamber vary depending on situation, with the Lord-Celestant being the choice for General in most cases.
The Vanguard Chamber are the scouts of Sigmar, sacrificing their defence for speed and quick hit ’n’ run tactics. They are good at reaching the other side of the board quickly with abilities, using momentum to flank enemy objectives or the opponent’s backline.
The Sacrosanct Chamber is the most recent Chamber to open. It brings a greater depth to the Stormcast Eternals range of wizards and spellcasters. On top of unbinding and casting spells, the chamber provides units that have optional trait abilities, such as Sequitors who can opt for defence or offence for the turn. Rounding out this chamber is a decent artillery piece in the form of the Celestar Ballista which can add some serious bite to their attack!
Finally, the Extremis Chamber is a Chamber of elite units, expensive in both points and money, but powerful on the table. They mainly use Dracoth mounts to pierce through enemy lines, while their heroes ride Stardrakes, fantastical celestial dragons that can melt through enemy forces if you let them.
Building An Army
So where to start with an army this big? Since we are looking at the Soul Wars box, we will use that as a starting point. This gives us two leaders; a Lord-Arcanum on Gryph-Charger and Knight Incantor, one battleline; a unit of Sequitors, and some other exciting units to play with; a unit of Castigators, a unit of Evocators, and one Celestar Ballista. Everything in the Soul Wars box roughly comes to 900 points, so to make-up the remaining 100 points, as well as providing a second mandatory Battleline to make the core of our army, we decided to invest in 5 Liberators. So using this, along with the General’s Handbook 2019 for the point costs, we can build a 1000 point army that looks like this:
Lord-Arcanum on Gryph-Charger
5 Evocators (3 from Box)
1 Celestar Ballista
1 Additional Command Point
Total Points: 1000
This list gives you some powerful wizards in the form of Evocators, that when teleported in from reserve using the Stormcast Eternals abilities, can wreck some havoc on wherever you place them. Our choice for General would be our Lord-Arcanum which allows the Sequitors to become one of our Battleline and synergizes well with our Sequitors and Castigators, allowing them to use BOTH of their optional abilities with his command ability. Our second Hero, the Knight-Incantor, can help your Lord-Arcanum cast and unbind spells, even being able to auto-unbind a spell with no drawback once per game with his scroll. Meanwhile, your Celestar Ballista can sit on your backline and cover any objectives on your side of the battlefield, gunning down any units brave enough to try and take them. All in all, a jack of all trades force, but if used well, can take some hits and throw enough back to make your opponent think twice.
So where to take your army from here? You can keep to your Sacrosanct theme, adding some more Sequitors for Battleline, and Evocators for some more damage output (they even come as mounted units if you wish!). You can even add some of the Stormcasts Endless Spells that your wizards can cast, like the Everblaze Comet that deals mortal wounds wherever it lands, and continues to deal mortal wounds to any unwise that get too close - great for holding off enemies from your objectives!
Or you can add units from other Chambers, which adds some diversity and helps pick up where maybe the Sacrosanct lacks. Maybe you want some flying units, so veer towards Prosecutors and a Knight-Venator. Maybe you require a flanking unit, so opt for Vanguard-Hunters and Vanguard-Palladors to swiftly take enemy objectives while they aren’t looking. Otherwise, we also recommend the Knight-Heraldor, who’s trumpet can shake up any units near terrain and deal them mortal wounds (serves them right for hiding behind that hill!). Either way, make sure you read your Stormcast Eternals Battletome, as it can be a great resource to help you find the pieces you need to make your Stormcast Eternals Army.
Next time, we will be looking at the other half of the Soul Wars box, Nagash’s shock troopers from beyond the grave. Sound the procession, because we will be covering the Nighthaunt next on our Faction Focus.