Fantasy Fisticuffs #30: Over and Under (Kharadron Overlords)

This week’s article is a little special, and hopefully not with air-quotes around the word.  A few weeks ago I received an awesome email from a reader asking me to talk about the Kharadron Overlords.  His suspicion was that the sky-dwarves are just outright better as a piece of a Cities of Sigmar list, than they are played out of their own book.  This got me thinking…  I generally consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to Age of Sigmar.  I also own far too much, and as such I really do have hands on experience with most armies. 

But this reader nailed it.  I own only enough KO to use the choice bits with my Cities of Sigmar, and have never given their native book consideration, nor have I played against it in AoS 2.0

So I borrowed a substantial KO collection, and have sincerely given them a go for about ten days now.  Take what follows with an appropriate sack of salt, but I feel like I have a sense for the army, its strengths and struggles.

Over-Performer:  Endrinriggers

More than most armies I have played in AoS, Overlords feel… lets just say “technical”.  They had a lot of fiddliness to them that can be seen even superficially in their units convoluted weapon-loadouts and dice-rolling.  Further, this army needs to be contributing at all times, as frankly and ironically, they are very much out-gunned.  To have a chance at success this army needs to leverage its mobility, split and distract opponents options, and avoid stand-up fights whenever possible.

While elite in count, this unit exemplifies this.  Their range universally allows them to be contributing, and quality weapons like the Aethermic Volleygun will make up a bit for how inevitably out-numbered the army is likely to be (unless spamming Arkanauts who do not match up well against most book’s line-troops).  Their ability to hitch-rides on Sky Vessels certainly complements the armies need to stay mobile, and proximity to those Vessels will also add some valuable heals on your big boys, which very much must stay around if you have any hope of success.

Make sure you give the Drill Launcher to your Mizzenmaster, for a little mortal wound fishing, and keep unit sizes small so you can do this more often.  It isn’t a deal-maker, but every little bit counts.

Under-Performer: Grundstock Gunhauler

To its credit, while not an incredibly strong book, the Overlords are the sort of book I enjoy.  There are plenty of options and none render other inadequate.  There are ways to get real value out of things like Skywardens, humble Khemists, and more.  The Gunhauler feels like the one odd unit out, that doesn’t quite feel as if it belongs.

Both the Frigate and Ironclad have functions that align with the way this army wants to play, and as transports can bring bodies where needed.  A cheeky Gunhauler may snag a victory point from entirely undefended objectives, but lacks the durability to hold one on its own, and as a sole model, is unlikely to take an objective from even modest units.  Endrinriggers can help in this area, but are just as able to do so in the larger vessels who will have more to offer over the course of a game.

A couple of these certainly are not going to undermine your efforts, but there are more important uses of points elsewhere.  Barak Urbaz Skyport does make them a battleline choice, however, so there are ways to elevate them a bit.

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

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About Mark Gottlieb

Writer, Game Designer, and owner of Fortunate Sun Studios, I have always tried to lead a life in some way built around paying back to gaming, and the gaming community. This hobby, and everyone in it, saved my life on more than a few occasions, and now I get to put my heart into helping it thrive for everyone!

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