Army Showcase Sunday - Zack's Fyreslayers!
Today on A.S.S. we have a veteran player, painter, and all-around Warhammer enthusiast Zack! On the off chance that you don't know Zack, he's a true pillar of Singapore's local Warhammer community. Apart from painting and playing for years, he's also been a huge advocate of the competitive 40k scene, having organized and run many large-scale tournaments!
Known also as @talonraven on Instagram (do yourself a favour and give him a follow), his love for the Adeptus Mechanicus is common knowledge. But today, we're going to be taking a look at one of his Age of Sigmar armies - his Fyreslayers!
Hello Zack! Thanks for joining us today! First off, perhaps tell us what led you to start a Fyreslayers army.
"I was there when the legions of Chaos led by the Everchosen shattered the World That Was. And thus like many then, I was resentful of the first Age of Sigmar. I rejected the strange new setting that Games Workshop was creating, preferring the traditional Tolkien-esque setting of men, elves and dwarves. That resentment however went away the first time I set eyes on the Fyreslayers army, namely Kevin Chin’s classic art of slayer-god Grimnir in a literally fiery duel with the Mother of Magmadroths, Vulkatrix.
That art awoke a revelation - that the new Age of Sigmar was really about high fantasy, not unlike some settings from games such as Final Fantasy. It was not fair for me to judge Age of Sigmar based on traditional tropes. With that mental block out of the way, I was ready to read more into the lore, dive head first into the lava and be reborn.”
Now you've been hobby painting for quite some time, did you experiment with any new techniques or approaches with this army?
“The Fyreslayers was a very on-and-off army for me. I dabbled a bit in the first edition of Age of Sigmar, where I painted at least one of each unit. That meant I was having fun with my painting and taking my time to paint each model - blending every layer and all that. When I got more serious playing during the second edition, I started beefing up the numbers, and that’s when I started looking into ways to finish painting them faster. Drybrushing with makeup brushes for the flesh, substituting my blend of washes for a simple Reikland Fleshshade for eg. I even have a unit that was base coated with a Tamiya Flesh colour spray! Didn’t like it, though.”
If you had to pick one model/unit that's your favourite from this army, which would it be?
“Definitely Fjul-Grimnir and the Chosen Axes. I took my time to paint them up because they were also to be used for my Warhammer Underworlds games, and I also use Fjul-Grimnir as a Runefather on foot as my General. Him resting his Latchkey Axe on his shoulder carries an air of arrogance fitting of a Duardin leader.”
How does your Fyreslayers army play on the tabletop? Does the Fyreslayers faction as a whole lean towards a certain style of play?
So I built and played my Fyreslayers in the second edition based on the Lords of the Lodge Warscroll Battalion (which is no longer used in Matched Play). This is an army that leverages upon solid blocks of Hearthguard Berzerkers - These crazies pack a punch in close combat, be it dishing out Mortal Wounds on unmodified 6s to hit, or reliably chopping with a Broadaxe. Hermdar cranks this up by introducing a Command ability that allows a unit to strike before any other units can be chosen to fight.
You would think that would mean they can’t take a hit, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Hearthguard Berzerkers could have their armour saves bumped up through several buffs including Prayers and the Battlesmith’s aura, and they have a 4+ Feel No Pain if they are near a Fyreslayer hero. Furthermore, Hermdar Generals boast an aura of -1 to wound!
Third Edition has toned this significantly by reducing the number of Hearthguard Berzerkers we can take. We would not be so reckless with them - we have to play smarter with Priests and Invocations, and might even enlist a very reluctant slayer…
What are you most looking forward to in the third edition of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar?
(for the short stories in White Dwarf)
“The runes are there, the tales have been wrought. Grungni has returned and dispatched his son Grombrindal to unite the disparate Duardin factions - Fyreslayers, Kharadron Overlords, the Dispossessed and the Ironweld Arsenal. I am very, very excited for a possible Khazalid Empire…
*grumbles* Grungni can’t get away with giving the Stormcasts new armour and weapons and not his kin, he just can’t *grumbles*"
Any words of advice for newer Fyreslayer enthusiasts and hobbyists in general?
“If you suffer from a lack of motivation when painting your army, here’s my biggest advice - develop a habit and paint a bit every day, instead of relying on bursts of energy and motivation. Try to pick up the brush and do something, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. If you’re just applying a single coat of Leadbelcher or applying a wash of Reikland Fleshshade, you are still making progress and your army is a small step closer to completion.”