From the crushing blackness of the Ocean depths, borne to land on the backs of aquatic terrors to steal the souls of their prey come the newest army for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar; The Idoneth Deepkin.
The first attempt of the new Elvish gods to recreate their race after the world blew up (see Warhammer: End Times), the Idoneth were considered failures because of how much their souls had degraded in the belly of the Chaos God, Slaanesh. Fearing their gods would destroy them for their imperfections, they fled throughout the realms, taking shelter deep beneath the waves eons ago. Due to the condition of their souls, most of Idoneth children do not live beyond a few years. However, they have developed rituals that allow them to use the souls of other sentient races to keep their species alive and extend their own life. And so, many isolated villages of all races across the realms share stories of mysterious raids, striking without warning, leaving amnesiac survivors and comatose victims behind as the shadowy figures steal their souls and memories.
On the Tabletop, the Deepkin boast a full complement of gorgeous, completely new models. Their design combines a hallmark elvish elegance with an Atlantean, aquatic influence. The lines of their armor, blades, and banners convey the streamlined, fluking shape of fish and other sea life, and most are accompanied on their bases by various sea creatures, many of which are an integral part of the model.
They also have a few key features in their rules that have a significant impact on the games in which they are fielded. Their “Tides of Death” army rule, while similar to their brethren the Daughters of Khaine's Blood Rites table, provides a changing buff to their entire force that encourages a very specific pace of movement, rather than an accumulation of boons as the battle goes on. Instead, their special rules result in their forces moving slowly at first, protected from enemy fire, before rushing forward at breakneck pace, churning and striking swiftly in close-combat, before falling back like a receding tide with their foes caught in the undertow, and doing it all over again. The distinct visual effect this has on the army's movement is really cool to see in action, and I love how much thought was put into developing the faction's flavor.
In addition to their Tides of Death, all Idoneth also have a special rule called “Forgotten Nightmares”, which plays upon the Idoneth's incomplete soul in a very significant way. Typically, one of the major strategy points in Warhammer is how to protect your leaders and heroes from being picked off by enemy fire. In Warhammer 40,000 there are rules in place that prevent a character from being targeted outright, with certain units having exceptions, etc. In Age of Sigmar, however, archers and cannons are able to choose any target they would like within range of their weapons, provided they can see what they're aiming at. The Idoneth, however, do not let their enemies have this choice. “Forgotten Nightmares” forces enemy missile weapons to target only the closest Idoneth unit to them when they fire, allowing the Deepkin player to preselect their opponent's targets through careful positioning and planning, thus allowing their very important heroes to move around with relative freedom and make the most of their placement and powers.
Boasting unique rules, stunning design, and a tableau of versatile units well suited to creative Generals, the Idoneth Deepkin are a strong (but not overpowered) addition to the Warhammer roster.
Written by Drake