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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords faction guide

The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords faction is filled with skyfaring dwarven privateers, ready to venture forth for profit and glory

The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords rule the skies above the Mortal Realms from their mighty sky-ports. Bound together by the mercantile laws of the Kharadron Code but otherwise fiercely independent, each sky-port is a bustling centre of commerce and industry suspended by miraculous works of Duardin engineering. Huge fleets of merchants, privateers, and adventurers set forth in search of profit and glory from their aerial harbours.

Kharadron society is motivated by the search for profit, and particularly aether-gold, the so-called ‘Breath of Grungni’ that powers both their aethermatic weaponry and the endrins that keep their ships and cities aloft. Airfleets of Frigates and Ironclads set to the sky bristling with guns, their holds filled with avaricious Duardin skyfarers eager for a share of plunder and the chance to rise to command a company of their own. Though reckless innovators by the standards of ground-faring Duardin, the Kharadron Overlords ennoble their ships with figureheads crafted into the faces of their ancestors.

The figurehead model for most Age of Sigmar armies is a dragon, a monster, or the avatar of a god. The Kharadron take to the field with a fleet of flying boats. If that description alone doesn’t convince you to start an army, perhaps the rest of our guide will.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords faction:

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords - Arkanaut Ironclad (image by HelterSkelter)

Arkanaut Ironclads and Frigates

All Kharadron skyvessels can be boarded by Kharadron infantry as if they were garrisoning a terrain piece, allowing your stubby-legged Duardin to hitch a ride into the heart of battle. As long as the keel holds together, skyvessels can retreat from combat and fire in the same turn, or even Fly High, disappearing from the battlefield and reappearing anywhere more than nine inches away from enemies.

The Arkanaut Ironclad is a leviathan of the skies, bristling with a battery of Aethershot carbines, bomb racks, Aethershot torpedoes, and a choice of mighty main gun – a Great Skycannon, Great Skyhook, or the dakka-tastic Great Volley Cannon, which sprays 4d6 shots at 18 inches range. While your Ironclad has 18 wounds, a three plus save, and its own Endrinrigger who can repair one wound every game turn, you may wish to garrison an Endrinmaster on board who will keep everything ship shape with their own tinkering abilities.

The Ironclad’s smaller brother, the Frigate, is such a mainstay of Kharadron fleets that the skyport Barak-Zilfin can take it as a battleline choice. Scaled down in all regards, it packs fewer guns and can move fewer bodies, but at a more modest point cost. Smallest of all is the Grundstok Gunhauler, a hovering tug-boat with a full-sized cannon that the cash-flushed Barak-Urbaz can field as a battleline choice.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords - Arkanaut Grundstok Gunhauler (photo from Gonders)

Arkanaut Companies

Arkanaut Companies are the main battleline choice in Kharadron armies and the only infantry you can field in large numbers. Clad in airtight armour and wielding a motley assortment of cutlasses, pistols, and esoteric aethermatic weaponry, they rely on their skyvessels for protection and manoeuvrability. But as long as profit is in sight, Arkanaut Companies are ferocious and brave.

While within nine inches of an objective and standing on terra firma, they get plus one to hit with all weapons and can reroll failed morale checks. A unit of 20 packed into an Ironclad alongside an Admiral is a mobile fortress that puts out a huge volume of short-range firepower and a surprising melee punch. 

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords army (photo by Games Workshop)

Kharadron Overlords tactics and battletome

The Kharadron Overlords battletome was published during Age of Sigmar Second Edition and is supplemented in Broken Realms: Be’lakor. There are some minor errata on the Warhammer Community website that clarify how the rules work in the latest edition.

Kharadron don’t fight for glory or honour; they fight for profit. Infantry units of ten or more models, heroes, and skyvessels carry a share of aether-gold. A unit can spend its share to immediately use a Triumph, but they will suffer from minus one Bravery for the rest of the battle as their spirits fall along with their paycheck.

Broken Realms: Be’lakor added new Triumphs just for your heroes. If a Skyvessel is about to go down in flames with an Endrinmaster on board, why not Blow the Magazine and inflict mortal wounds on the luckless marauders who scuppered your beautiful vessel?

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords - Arkanaut Barak-Nar (photo by Games Workshop)

All Kharadron Stick to the Code, but every Sky-port has its own tightly-worded variant made up of an Artycle, Amendment and Footnote that grant their own special rules. The Sky-ports also have a unique faction trait, command trait and relics: the martial Barak-Zon gain bonuses in melee during the first round of combat while the wealthy Barak-Urbaz think nothing of squandering their aether-gold and don’t lose bravery after their share is spent.

Though Kharadron wield some of the best guns in Age of Sigmar, the game favours the blade over the bullet, and you must concentrate your firepower to eliminate enemy units. This becomes more difficult the more of your force is engaged in melee, so Fly High with your Skyvessels to preserve your own forces and redeploy your guns. Dead Duardin can’t spend their aether-gold, so use your shares early; the Inspired triumph grants plus one to wound on all attacks from a unit.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Kharadron Overlords - Arkanaut Ironclad diving (photo by Games Workshop)

Kharadron Overlords paint schemes

Kharadron armour is inspired by historical diving suits and World War Two flight uniforms, overlayed with baroque aetherpunk machines and dwarven ornamentation. A single model might wear several kinds of metal, fabric, and glasswork, and you could make those a ‘natural’ colour like brown leather or bare metal – or coloured like dyed fabric or painted armour. The scheme must also work on diddy infantry and huge hovering war-boats. The official Games Workshop schemes show several ways to approach this.

Barak-Zilfin infantry have blue-grey canvas suits armoured with bronze plates. Their sky vessels bear the blue-grey on their hulls and the bronze across their endrinworks. Breaking up the large fields of blue-grey on the hull are bands of ochre yellow, which references Pacific theatre aeroplane colours, coheres with the bronze, and adds visual interest. It’s a naturalistic scheme that retains an aetherpunk flare.

Barak-Nar consider themselves first among the Sky-ports and dye their flight suits royal purple and paint their hulls to match. The scheme uses a creamy tan colour for most of the leather and for ornamental panels on vehicles. This keeps the details of leather harnesses legible against the deep purple and references the white kidskin gloves of military officers. Infantry armour plates are a cold steel with ornamentation picked out in gold. This makes your hero choices immediately legible on the table: they’re almost entirely golden.

With thanks to Gonders for his glorious green Gunhauler and HelterSkelter for his rich wood-panelled Ironclad.