Warhammer 40k Leagues of Votann Faction Focus showcases the newest faction of Warhammer 40k, who have been a bit controversial since their release, but the changes seem to address the issues.
Since the start of May, Games Workshop (and also, ESTNN) has followed the schedule revealed in this year’s Warhammer Fest in terms of Faction Focuses. After they Adepta Sororitas faction focus, however, they subverted all expectations, as they announced at the end of the Sisters of Battle showcase that the next faction whose new rules will be partially revealed is the Leagues of Votann, everyone’s favourite (or least favourite) Space Dwarves. And lo and behold, GW kept true to their word, and revealed some of the new stuff coming to the Kin in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k – and as they are my favourite faction, I couldn’t be excited!
Faction Rules revealed in the Warhammer 40k Leagues of Votann Faction Focus
The first Army Rule revealed is of course the Eye of the Ancestors, or as most people know this trick, the Judgement Tokens. Currently, you can stack 3 of these Tokens on enemy units in various ways, and it makes so that 6+/5+/4+ Hit rolls automatically Wound, depending on the number of Tokens. This has been regarded as a bit frustrating for anyone facing the Leagues of Votann, so a rework was expected by players of the army and everyone else alike.
The new Judgement Tokens can only be stacked to 2, with 1 Token giving +1 to Hit against the unit which it’s on, while 2 Tokens also give +1 to Wound to all Kin targeting the Judged enemy. This is a great middle ground, as it makes the Leagues very strong as long as they focus priority targets, while also making JT’s more useful against horde armies. While opponents don’t seem to receive Judgement Tokens passively now, GW hinted that Theyns of the Heartkyn will be able to select priority targets alongside the Kahls leading the dwarves into battle.
In the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k, Command Points will be scarce, so their value will shoot up after the new Edition drops. However, the Kin have learned a trick or two while mining the resources of the Galactic Core, and they are ruthlessly efficient – so the new Oathband Detachment Rule, Ruthless Efficiency fits them very well! This Rule allows the Leagues of Votann to select a priority target at the start of the battle, putting 2 Judgement Tokens on it right away, and gaining a number of CP when that unit is destroyed: 3 in the first 2 Command phases, 2 in the 3rd and 4th Command phases, and 1 in the 5th Command phase, meaning that even if the opponent tries to hide the unit, you will be able to get some value out of this Detachment Rule – which is awesome in both terms of gameplay, power and fluff.
Unit Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Leagues of Votann Faction Focus
The first unit showcased were the Heartkyn Warriors, the most basic infantry of the Kin. These (still kind of elite) soldiers have access to an arsenal of different weapons, such as Bolters, Beamers, Missile launchers and the new HYLas rotary cannon from the Leagues of Votann Kill Team, which will be available in the coming days. While the Kin seem to be losing the Void Armour ability, all of the units receive some increased Toughness, even the Heartkyn Warriors, who are now a T5 Battleline unit, which is unique so far. Their Pan Spectral Scanner Wargear stayed basically the same, but their Comms Array are now used for farming CP on Stratagem use, while the Medipack gives the unit a 6+ Feel No Pain, alongside the Theyn’s 4+ Invulnerable save – which means that the Warriors will still be a really hard unit to take down.
They are great for taking and especially holding objectives, but now they can leave them behind thanks to the Luck Has. Need Keeps. Toil Earns. ability, which makes the objective sticky, meaning that you’ll control it even if you don’t have units on it until your opponent takes it away from you. Hopefully the nerfs to the Ballistic Skill, Range and Attacks of some of the Heartkyn means that they will receive a massive points decrease, so that players can build armies with 20, or even 30 Heartkyn Warriors.
The other unit showcased is the rolling brick itself, the Hekaton Land Fortress, which is currently the biggest available vehicle for the Space Dwarves. The Hekaton got the increased Toughness treatment, as it gained 4 pips of Toughness, alongside an increase of Strength in almost all of it’s weapons. It can still take the Pan Spectral Scanners which helps it ignore Cover, but now only has one Warhead as a wargear instead of three.
The Hekaton Land Fortress also gained the Fire Support ability showcased in the Warhammer Community about the Vehicles of 10th Edition. This ability gives the units that disembarked from the Hekaton rerolls to their Wound roll provided that they shoot at the same target the Land Fortress has shot this Phase. While this would be useful for any faction, combined with the Judgement Tokens of the Leagues, it’s extremely deadly.
Weapon Spotlight of the Warhammer 40k Leagues of Votann Faction Focus
Only one weapon was shown in the Faction Focus, but that’s one that showcases a bunch of guns. The Brokhyr Thunderkyn are one of the heaviest ranged hitters of the Leagues, with three different gun options, so they always have the answer to everything. Games Workshop showed us the SP Conversion Beamer with the new ability of all Beam weapons of the Kin: they lost the “beam” keyword, meaning that they can’t damage everyone in between themselves and their target, but they gained the Sustained Hits D3 keyword, which means that if they roll a 6 in their Hit rolls, they gain extra D3 hits. The Beamers take this to the next level with the Conversion keyword, as they modify the Sustained Hits rules if they shoot something outside of 12”, so they get the extra hits on a 4+ instead of a 6. That is a lot of extra chances to Wound a target, which should put the Conversion weapons in very high demand – luckily, a lot of units have beamers, including the Hernkyn Pioneers and the Sagitaurs.
Stratagem Spotlight of the Warhammer 40k Leagues of Votann Faction Focus
Along with the Weapon Spotlight, only one Stratagem was shown by Games Workshop. Reactive Reprisal is an already existing Stratagem, which let’s units shoot back immediately at an enemy unit that just finished shooting at them for 2 CP if the enemy unit has a Judgement Token on them. Currently, the unit using this Stratagem can’t shoot in the next Shooting Phase of the LoV player, but this restriction has been removed – although you don’t get the CP discount if you use this stratagem with a unit of Heartkyn Warriors. Nevertheless, Reactive Reprisal is a strong tool, which will be even stronger in the upcoming Edition of Warhammer 40k.
Overall, the Leagues of Votann received some necessary changes to their core abilities while also getting some new toys. Players can most definitely expect a points change with almost all the units of the Kin now that the oppressive parts of their rules are gone, so I expect them to go from an accidental elite army to a more troop-focused force, which is a very welcome change in my opinion.
The 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k is set to drop sometime in June, and with all the Faction Focus articles getting revealed, we can expect a whole new game. Follow ESTNN for the latest news on Warhammer 40k, and also check out our other pieces, such as the Previews and Predictions of the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational!