Speak the words of Lorgar and you shall live forever in the glory of Chaos. Speak them not and every one of you shall die today.Sermons of Hate, Kor Phaeron.
Kor Pheron was never able to undertake the process to become a space marine due to his advanced age, but he was able to be extensively augmented at the command of Lorgar. This is reflected in a custom suit of Cataphractii terminator armour that grants him a boosted statline and a 6+ feel no pain. To reflect his age and human nature, he does have a toughness of 3 and an initiative of 2 meaning he is susceptible to Instant Death from common strength 6 weapons.
Furthermore, his Cataphractii armour is equipped with twin lightning claws and a one-use digi-flamer (hilarious to use on overwatch).
Kor Phaeron has Harbinger of Chaos (as seen above), Burning Lore, Dark Oratory which grants a +1 LD bonus to all Word Bearers to a max of 10, and has Jealous Command meaning he must be your warlord unless you field the Primarch.
A thematic character that is best utilised leads hordes of crazed Zealots.
Zardu Layak, The Crimson Apostle:
This guy does everything. There’s a reason why you see him taken in most lists.
Do you want a level 2 psyker who can summon hordes of daemons and not blow himself up?
Do you want to add a +1 to those dark channeling rolls to make bigger, badder units while having daemon allies?
Do you want to take Ashen circle as troops? Have them score like troops, and give them dark channeling?
Zardu is held in high regard by many who have used the warp gifted of the 17th. The biggest bonus to Zardu is the ability to use the malefic discipline without miscasting due to being a Daemon. In one round of using psychic powers he can make his points back by summoning some very dangerous lesser daemons. Over the course of a game you can create a horde army due to being able to cast up to 2 malefic spells per turn, and potentially having a large pool of die due to other character taking burning lore!
The Azuda Char’is is a +2 str, AP 4, two handed force weapon which is ok, BUT once per game it allows him to re-roll a failed manifestation attempt at a psychic power. This has come in handy more than once and combined with his formidable psychic level you, stuff gets crazy fast.
The panoply of flame in simple terms gives all word bears in 12” a +1 for determining combats and sweeping advances and gives you a once per game heavy flamer shooting attack instead of your shooting. The +1 is a really good representation of his past and his war banner and can be good for overrunning units. The heavy flamer attack, on the other hand, is better suited against lesser armoured marines or in games of ZM
Binder of Souls gives any unit a +1 modifier to their Dark Channeling roles and if Zardu is your warlord you can take Daemon allies. This is another great lore first rules second as it really captures the nature of Zardu but in saying that while Daemon allies are great, the +1 to Dark Channeling does require an investment and can nuder some scoring units.
Reign of Fire reflects Zardus past serving in the Ashen Circle and the twisted iconoclastic nature of the legion. This unlocks Ashen Circle as troops. That are scoring. With the option for a Dark Channeling upgrade AND with the Playtest rules. Hot dam is this fun!
I find Zardu is a lot like Erebus. He is a really good utility character who brings flexibility to your army and play style. He shines in both Zone Mortalis and larger Age of Darkness games due to his ability to summon and let you have an open way to build your army. Unlike Erebus, Zardu can hold his own in some cases thanks to being a daemon and this benefits his Panoply of Flame as he can be close to the action.
Trust me you will find yourself having one hell of a time with this guy!
Anakatis Kul Blade-slaves:
At the core of the Blade slaves, you have two bulky models at 100 points that MUST be taken with Zardu Layak to form one unit. This limits your mobility as a unit increases points and force org slots on transports.
Even though they have 3 wounds a piece with T5 they still only have a 3+ save with a 5+ daemonic save. Losing one, or both of these guys to look out sir rolls from a str 10 weapon hurts.
Overall a great fluffy choice and in games like ZM where you get a bit more leeway in terms of mobility these guys can get into combat and throw some weight around. In larger games, I would use these guys as some really cool looking Gal Vorbak due to changing battlefield dynamics limiting Zardu and their maneuverability.
Hol Beloth was one of the commanders that executed the attack at Calth, and his rules do reflect the ruthless drive he brought to these forces. He comes with a Master-crafted power fist for that high strength, low ap attacks and a Tainted weapon for the occasional instant death attack, both are specialists meaning extra attacks! On top of that, you have a sexy 2+, 4++, with a plasma pistol, so far this guy is pretty points efficient.
The special rules are really lore reflective and can help change the tides of battle fairly quickly.
First Hol has Hexaglyhic wards meaning he ignores the first unsaved would even if it would cause instant death. This gives him in essence 4 wounds and can give you a huge advantage in a challenge with other high powered characters. These rules perfectly fit the idea of playing with forces outside of one’s control and trying to bind them for your own uses.
Exhortation of Battle is a rule I find overlooked by a lot of players. In essence, once per game at the start of your assault phase, you can declare to use Exhortation of Battle to give units with the Word Bearers rule a Weapon Skill of 5 unless it would be higher for that assault phase. Not only is this fluffy as hell with Hol being an amazing tactician and playing upon the blind zealot nature of word bearers, but this can push the damage output of the “horde” style list in assault giving you an important leg up over your former brothers.
Overall, i find Hol Beloth to be a somewhat underrated character who while not always be the first pick, he can change your army building dynamic, he is cheap considering his loadout, and he gives you a really unique way to imagine an army of fanatical zealots fighting against the forces of the false god.
Lorgar, the Lord of the Word Bearers, The Urizen, Aurelian, the chosen messenger of the Gods.
Almost unique amongst the pantheon of Primarchs, Lorgar can be bought in his pre-Isstvan V or post Isstvan V enlightenment.
Lorgar is 375 points base and is one of the lowest costPraimrchs. He is a very good leadership buffer for your army, letting all Word Bearers use his LD 10 for morale and pinning. Any Word Bearer who can draw a line of sight to Lorgar gets +1 to charges, +1 to the total combat score and are immune to fear.
Logar comes equipped with the weapon his brother Ferrus made for him, the Illuminarum, and holy crap this bad boy puts out work. The Luminarium is a weapon that allows Lorgar to dish out concussive, str 8, AP2 attacks and has the smash rule for extra spice (just think of the cover of Betrayer for an accurate portrayal).
The Armour of the Word is a 2+ and a 4++ Invulnerable that is increased to a 3++ against psychically empowered attacks.
Dark Fortune. Once per game, a single enemy model must reroll all rolls of 5 & 6 to hit and wound. I have seen this be the downfall of Russ, Horus, and Sanguinius who have been locked in combat with Lorgar. When you look through all the events where Lorgar narrowly escaped death, this rule is the perfect balance of lore informing game mechanics.
This pre enlightened version has one massive downside. While he is a level 2 psyker, representing his latent abilities, and he can only channel on a 5+.
For an extra 75 points you gain access to the enlightened Lorgar Transfigured.
By doing a line of warp dust he transforms into one of the best Primarchs in the game. The likes of Russ, Horus, knights, hell even a Titan tread carefully when Lorgar is invested in the full majesty of the Dark Pantheon.
Lorgar Transfigured is a level 3 psyker, who selects his powers from ANY COMBINATION of Divination and Telekinesis.
And he channels on a 3+.
Precognition, Forewarning, and Prescience are excellent choices that help him or his unit into melee and do something when there. The combination of re-rolling to hit and to wound and buffing a nearby unit (such as Gal Vorbak) to have a 4+ invulnerable save means that the Urizen bestrides the battlefield like a god.
The terrifying power of Lorgar magnifies when you consider he has a 66% chance, on one dice, to cast Iron Arm! Boosting his already prodigious strength ensures that, even though he is considered by his brothers to be the weakest of his kin, ther reality tells a different story.
Overall Logar himself is one of, if not the best representation of a Primarch in-game. The translation from lore to gaming piece is evocative and useful. Truly the golden one.