Faction Focus: Slaves to Darkness

The Mortal Realms will shake beneath the tread of the Slaves to Darkness once more! This weekend, the forces of Chaos are receiving an upgrade, with a new battletome for the Slaves to Darkness. But just what does this mean for your army? Allow us to show you…

This article was originally published on the Warhmmer-community site.

The Basics

In the lore, Slaves to Darkness armies may owe their allegiance to one Chaos god, several, or the universal concept of Chaos Undivided. Warbands dedicated to each Chaos God vie for favour, overseen by champions marked for glory – or damnation. On the tabletop, this is represented by the Aura of Chaos and the Eye of the Gods.

The Aura of Chaos ability allows Slaves to Darkness heroes to enhance nearby units that share their Chaos mark. The General has an even stronger Aura of Chaos than their kin, rewarding you for fighting in close formation with some brilliant abilities. Take the Aura of Khorne – woe betide the enemy that meets a tooled-up unit of Chaos Chosen bearing the Blood God’s mark!

Each god, along with Chaos Undivided, has a mark (a sign of favour, if you will). You can mix and match these within your army, offering loads of thematic and tactical variety for your forces. For instance, your fast-moving forward troops could possess the Mark of Slaanesh, while your Wizards could bear the Mark of Tzeentch. What’s more, the Mark of Chaos keyword allows you to interact with a number of allied units – try taking a Lord of Blights to bolster a big unit of Nurgle-marked Chaos Warriors, for example! With his Plague of Flies ability, they won’t just be unbelievably durable, but much harder to even hit in the first place.

All champions of Chaos walk the Path to Glory – a journey of bloodshed, carnage and mutation that ends with death, spawndom or ascension to the ranks of the Daemon Princes. In-game, you’ll be able to harness the fickle blessings of the Chaos Gods with a truly glorious random table. Roll after you slay a hero or a monster and you could see some incredible new powers, including transformation into a Daemon Prince. Or you might transform into a Spawn – the gods have a sick sense of humour like that. 

The Damned Legions

The Slaves to Darkness mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some, it’s all about the Marauders and cultists – vast and unruly armies of barbarians led to war by charismatic champions and striking with terrifying speed. For others, it’s about mysterious cults, witch-knights and esoteric crusaders from realms beyond reason. To you, perhaps Chaos is about insanity-spreading menageries of monsters or hyper-elite vanguards led by Archaon himself. The new Slaves to Darkness book lets you represent all of it with four new sub-factions!

The Ravagers are all about “classic” Chaos – disparate warbands led by various champions walking the Path to Glory, attended in battle by outflanking barbarians. To represent this, up to five friendly Ravagers Heroes can have Command Traits, in addition to your General, while Ravagers Generals can summon Marauders, Marauder Horsemen or Warcry warbands (who all have the Cultists keyword) to join the fray. 

The Cabalists cater to the magical side of Chaos, binding enemy spells and unleashing dark rituals. You haven’t lived until you’ve used someone’s own Purple Sun to destroy one of their units…

The Despoilers represent the Slaves to Darkness at their most unholy – warhosts utterly dedicated to their Daemon Prince overlords and accompanied to battle by horrifying Chaos monsters. Their Daemon Princes are great for messing with shooting armies, capable of turning any terrain into a line-of-sight blocker!

And of course, the Everchosen – Archaon’s own hand-picked forces, the most disciplined and efficient of the dread hosts. These warriors can fundamentally affect the flow of battle with the Dark Prophecy rule, letting you know in advance if you’re due a double turn! This ability previously required a warscroll battalion – now, the Everchosen have access to it all the time.

And that’s just a small sample – each of these hosts has even more battle traits, plus their own artefacts and command traits. Whichever Chaos army you’ve dreamed of collecting, there are rules for it in this book.

Making an Army

The impressive selection of warscrolls, sub-factions and allies available means there are loads and loads of ways to go about making a Slaves to Darkness army. From traditional forces of infantry, to all-mounted spearheads, to superbly silly options (six Daemon Princes, anyone?), you’re spoiled for choice.

We’d recommend by starting with your Battleline – the mainline units that make up the majority of any army. These could be Chaos Warriors for an elite force, Chaos Marauders for a horde, or Chaos Knights and Marauder Horsemen for faster, mounted horses! Alternatively, you could go for a more out-there option – how about Chaos Chariots or the unstoppable Varanguard?

From there, pick some Heroes that match your host! For the Ravagers, stock up on Darkoath Chieftains, Exalted Heroes and Chaos Lords to maximise your command traits. Cabalists are great for Chaos Sorcerers, Despoilers for Daemon Princes and, of course, the Everchosen for Archaon!

From there, the possibilities are endless. Add your entire Warcry collection (monsters and all) to your forces, grab yourself some Soul Grinders – the choice is yours. What’s more, all of your god-marked units can be used in a Tzeentch, Nurgle, Khorne or Slaanesh force, so if you fancy trying some different allegiance abilities, you can!

It works the other way around, too. Thanks to the Mark of Chaos keyword, you could field your Slaves to Darkness army as a Khorne force one day, then a Tzeentch army the next by using their associated battletomes and allegiance abilities!


If you’re looking for an army that offers incredible choice, nigh-unparalleled flexibility and the chance to build pretty much any kind of Chaos horde you can imagine, then make sure to pre-order Battletome: Slaves to Darkness this weekend!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

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