Welcome to our Closer Look series. We are digging into the changes for each faction in Age of Sigmar 3.0. Join us moving forward as we bring on different authors to give insights into their favorite factions!!
Bend a knee to the First Prince and start embracing the soup of Chaos daemons. Today we are looking at the First Prince and his Legions.
I bent the knee to chaos and I haven’t looked back. My Name is Brad and I have been playing AOS for over 3 years. I came over to Warhammer from a long history of Magic the Gathering having started in 1999. I played MTG competitively with my friend and co-founder Sean in all formats of MTG. The thrill of outplaying someone is a big draw for me. I have been a control player my whole life. Wanting to maximize the mistakes of my opponent and draw them into traps I set for them.
Over three years ago I got into AOS when a friend I played MTG with asked me to try it. I reached out to my friend John who had me try out Warhammer Fantasy in High school and asked If he wanted to go in on a box together and start playing. We got the Khorne and Storm Cast box. Guess who took Khorne and has been playing Chaos ever since. I have collected almost all the Chaos armies since. Plastic crack addiction is real. I started playing with LOTFP (Legion of the First Prince) for the past 2 years. It came out in Wrath of the Everchosen in 2.0 where it was just a fun army to play. There have been some major changes to it in 3.0 that have made it a highly competitive list. Most importantly is the new Be’lakor model, warscroll, and book that came out recently. I will provide you with my list which is quite different from the ones you have probably seen around. I am going to take you through some of the things that make this army great and some of the things that it struggles with. We will take a dive into different models that I would recommend and the style to play the army.
Be’lakor is one of the most fascinating Chaos heroes. He is the master of shadows and the first human to take the step into becoming a Daemon Prince. He was once the one and only Daemon Prince that all the Chaos gods wanted on their side. His hubris would not serve him well as he was eventually made an example of and forced to crown the Everchosen for the rest of his days after the gods grew tired of him playing all sides. Daemon Princes became more and more common and Be’lakor was left in the shadows to wait and plot. He was however able to build an army that could control all daemons no matter what faction of chaos they came from. He was able to bend their will and use them together for his own goal.
What makes LOTFP such a great army is the ease to build it if you are already a Chaos player. You can easily branch into it if you already have the models and just need to pick up a Be’lakor which is an amazing model to build and paint anyway. Starting out, feel free to mix and match different daemons you own before committing to going all out to build a competitive list. When I first started a year ago it was basically a Khorne and Nurgle army with Be’lakor at the helm. Six months later I had a full Tzneetch army to go with my collection of Chaos. Once the new Be’lakor model came out I was all in combining all my daemons to figure out a way to make this army competitive. Playing Legion of the First Prince gives you a few advantages over other chaos factions. The first and most obvious is the ability to play any chaos daemons in the army as a soup. This allows for some powerful combinations. The army-wide 6+ ward save provides extra staying power for units that don’t normally get a ward save. The ability to summon from units of minor daemons for free, by rolling higher than a 10 on three dice, allows you to flood the board with them. For example, free 5 pink horrors each turn can turn the tide of a game. Add in Be’lakor’s ability to shut down an important unit your opponent controls on a 3+ roll in each phase until your next hero phase and you have the foundation for a strong army.
Let’s jump into my list, some of the unit choices you can use in a Legion of the First Prince army, and my thoughts on how to use them in-game.
It all starts with the First Prince himself. I have tried it both ways with him as the general and without him as the general and have found my preference to play him as the general. Doing this you lose the extra command trait that most people choose: Ruinous Aura. I find that the ability to bring back models in my build is something that time and time again proves to be too powerful for me to be without. I use him as a surgical knife that can stay on an objective or go after an important hero when the time is right. It is important to note that even though he can bounce wounds to battleline units on a 4+ he is not invincible. Even at a 4+ save that cannot be modified. I will tell you to use him wisely and keep him semi-protected with screens you summon. Though it is hard to take him down in a single turn, bad dice rolling can get scary. Therefore, I have added the Emerald Life Swarm to my list. The extra Healing can get him almost back up to full health combined with healing in your Heroic Actions phase. His ability to turn off an important unit in AOS 3.0, where heavy-hitting monsters are common, is very helpful.
The next important piece to this army is Kairos Fateweaver. He is an auto-include to this army due to the amount of control he gives you on the board by changing one dice roll per game to whatever you need it to be. He can consistently cast and unbind spells by changing the lowest of your roll to the highest roll. Kairos also gives this army the mortal wounds output it severely lacks. By using the Umbral Spellportal, you can almost guarantee to hit any unit on the board first turn for 6 mortals if you keep him out of unbinding range of your opponent. I usually use this to kill a small support hero or a unit with shooting to drive down their ranged firepower as this army is all about survival and keeping your units on the board.
The Contorted Epitome
The third auto-include in the list is The Contorted Epitome with the artifact Fourfold Blade. The fact that you get 9 attacks that do D3 mortal wounds on 5+ is a no-brainer for this army. Add the fact that it is a level 2 wizard that can reroll its casting rolls is a very big bonus. It also has speed which is important to the army because it is not the fastest army.
Where most people expect to play a Daemon Prince marked Khorne I play a Sloppity Bilepiper. He has been my MVP in more games than I can count. Sloppity has absolutely allowed me to control a game time and time again. Using his ability to stop units within 3” of a plaguebearer model to not pile in any closer I have stopped a Frost lord on Stonehorn from being able to attack. By pulling all the models it killed on the charge outside of 2 inches its weapons were no longer in range, and I watched it sit there, unable to attack, turn after turn by not piling in. I have then watched those players on their turn retreat from combat just to waste a turn of attacks. Sloppity also gives my Plaguebearers +1 to save for just existing. Therefore, I attempt to get him in the middle of my two blobs keeping them wholly within 14”.
For my battleline, I choose to play one unit of 30 Plaguebeares and one unit of 20 Plaguebeares. These units are my tarpit in the center of the board. Their only goal is to sit on objectives and absorb wounds from Be’lakor unless I summon Pink Horrors. I prefer them over pinks because they pair with Sloppity. A big unit of Plaguebearers holds their -1 to hit for a longer period when you can keep bringing them back in the battleshock phase on a roll of 1 and using Be’lakor’s ability. Once paired with Sloppity’s ability to stop people from piling in, with -1 to hit and +1 to save, you have a unit that will survive with the best of them.
The last unit for my list is Flesh hounds. I would suggest trying them out as they are cheap and fast. They pair well with the Epitome to get out in front of the table to put pressure on a unit or grab a far Objective. They also have a built-in unbind which is nice considering all the armies out there that have many casts. They aren’t going to do much damage, but they provide a great screen and can get you points.
Honorable Mention’s: The units below are all in consideration for play depending on how your local metagame is and your playstyle.
Daemon Prince Mark of Khorne
This Hero is amazing in this army, and I completely understand why most people run it. Halving charges in a game where you can now redeploy a unit D6 when they move within 9” can make charges impossible. Also, the fact that it is an 18” aura makes it hit a bunch of different units and control the speed of your opponent. The Daemon Prince just doesn’t fit in my list for the synergy I am trying to build for in my list. But try him out and you will be very impressed. The fact that he fights before combat is a big bonus as well. If you roll good, he can kill small heroes or chip away at a battleline unit before they get to attack.
Blood Thirster of Insensate Rage
This model is not only a great-looking model but it brings mortal wounds with it as well. The fact Kairos can make your mortal wound bubble go off is just another great reason to play this model. He is fast and most people that play this model will run it as the general to give the Ruinous Aura to him granting units wholly within 8” a +1 to their 6+ ward save. A 5+ ward save comes in handy.
These are one of the best battleline units in the game. They can hold objectives while shooting at nearby units to pester them. Some people choose to not even bother with them because the more they kill the more you take over the objective. A recent change made them even better with the fact that they no longer take battleshock until a Brimstone Horror dies. Giving you 30 wounds of no battleshock. The biggest upside of running them in Legion of the First Prince is they get the 6+ Ward save, this makes an already tanky unit even harder to take down. The downside is you can no longer bring back a pink horror unless an FAQ comes out to clarify due to them no longer being slain. At the end of the day, 50 wounds for 215 is a straight bargain. Therefore, I choose to use these as the units I summon from Be’lakor. Having 25 wounds for free that I can bounce wounds to is great!
I very recently took this list to a 3 round 16-person tournament where I went undefeated at 3-0. The ability to control a game from the start and put all the decisions in my opponents’ hands was very useful. I was able to choose to go first in every game I played being a two-drop list. I often would make sure to start Kairos outside of unbinding range to start the game and put everything else on the line as I wanted to go first and get on the objectives. This army thrives by taking the first turn and getting on objectives. I usually keep Be’lakor in the middle of the table so he can help with any objective that is needed later in the game. My Plague Bearers and Sloppity use Ferocious Advance turn one to run them and keep them close to Sloppity. I then try to sit and collect points as I keep out of combat as long as possible.
By taking the first turn I can shut down an important unit for 1 to 2 turns using Be’lakor’s Dark Master ability. During the tournament, I shut down a Kairos Fatewever to stop it from casting spells and moving for two turns. I shut down a Chaos Lord on Karkadrak for one turn. I failed the movement roll, but it did stop my opponent from charging my blob of Plague Bearers. After a unit of Knights killed off five of my Plague Bearers I pulled the ones closest to them but keeping with in three of all the knight units. This seemed to work throughout the tournament and was the MVP play over and over. I love my Sloppity!
Playing this army really gives you a great sense of control in the game. I get to fight but most of the time it was on my terms or exactly who I wanted to be fighting. Another great thing you can do with this army is to use Kairos’s ability to do 6 mortals to a unit from across the board but the most important part is you get to summon a Chaos spawn. I have used this time and time again to keep a unit from charging or shooting who they wanted by putting the Chaos Spawn within 3” of the unit. During one game a unit of my opponent’s 20 Plague Bearers was next to a building. I killed three with Kairos’s spell and was able to place the Spawn on the other side of the building just within 3″ causing the opponent to be forced to retreat. After the opponent retreated them they were unable to charge onto the objective that turn. Then on the next turn, I charged it into the back of them again with the Spawn, but they could not do enough damage to kill it and had to once again could not get to the objective.
Using all these little tricks can make it hard for your opponent to get any momentum. Then when they finally make a charge roll you change one of the dice to a 1 with Kairos once per game ability to make them fail the charge. You are not going to make many friends playing this list, but you will win games. I have kept opponents at 0 points for two turns in a couple of different games. The daemon prince version of this army mixed with redeploying makes almost immediate failed charge rolls for your opponents. It changes the way the list plays a bit. But the end goal is the same. Keep your opponents off the objectives by making them fail their charges.
If you want to kill a bunch of models, this is not the list for you. If you want a monster that will destroy everything it touches, this is not the list for you. But if you want to control the game and watch your opponent figure out how to take the objectives from you. This is the list for you. It is a very hard army to play as there are many things you need to do to outplay your opponent. There will be times you activate your trap card and get a unit stuck into combat without dealing any damage back to them. It is a grind list, and you will want to outlast your opponent. It does have flaws. The fact that you only have one spell available to the army is frustrating. Having a bunch of units fight when they die that don’t hit hard is not very useful. I almost never use it unless I think Be’lakor is going to die, or I just need to cast a spell to hope they unbind it over a different spell. Lists that deep strike can make you change how you will play because you can’t just leave Kairos in the back. Shooting armies can do work vs this list due to its slow nature. I have used Be’lakor’s ability to count a unit out, then fail every 3+ roll, and watched the unit I thought was toast charge and attack my units. Sometimes variance is not your friend!
At the end of the day, it is a fun army, that I enjoy playing and that’s what matters! If you have never played with Be’lakor try him out and see if the First Prince is for you. Right now, this is my favorite army. I am very passionate about this list and will continue to play it in 3.0. I hope every Chaos player tries out the army even if they proxy him to just see what the army is like. The First Prince’s time is here!! Join his Legion!!!
May the dice flow through you!
(Disclaimer: you can not return slain models with in 3″ of a unit you are not currently engaged with in combat)