The Humble Aether-Khemist is a small (32mm) base hero with great synergy and abilities. He is probably the most popular KO hero to date due to his ability to buff any “SKYFARER” unit with +1 attacks to a single weapon profile. He is not cheap, sitting at 160 points he comes in over most other comparable heroes. For example a Knight Azyros is only 100 pts and can potentially buff much more of your army. An Arkanaut Admiral is only 120pts and he can give everyone within 12″ (not just wholly within!!)  immunity to battleshock.

Regardless he is an awesome hero and for me a standout choice as general as well. His Buff is awesome, especially when paired with Skyhooks or Aethermatic Saws. He also hits fairly hard in the shooting phase, forces an additional battleshock if equipped with the Aethershock Earbuster and can even de-buff enemies when they get too close.

I like to take 2 of these dudes with me wherever I go. At 320 points that means I’m really building my lists around these 2 heroes. Luckily the Khemist can also travel by boat giving him a bit more mobility/options in deployment. 

As always if I have missed anything please let me know in the comments! ?  

In-Game Guide

The main thing to keep in mind is how to manage his buff(s) his ability has a 10″ range, so keeping your units within that bubble is super important. There is a bright side though, the ability doesn’t require LOS to the target unit! 

Also remember his debuff, try to place him so that he is not the target of a charge but that he will be as near as possible to as many enemy models as possible. Usually I try to keep at least one Khemist on each flank to help if the sides get charged.

Don’t be afraid to hide him in/behind terrain he doesn’t need LOS just 10″ to a friendly unit you want buffed. I know I’ve basically said that twice already but it’s suuuper important!

The Warscroll

1 Model p/ Unit

Move: 4 Wounds: 5 Brav: 7 Save: 4+

Miss weaps:

  • Noxious Aether :
    • R: 10″ Atks: 3d6 Hit: 4+ Wnd: 4+ Rnd: -2 Dmg: 1

Melee Weaps:

  • Heavy Instruments:
    • R: 1″ Atks: 2 Hit: 4+ Wnd: 4+ Rnd: – Dmg: 1


  • Aetheric Augmentation:
    • The Khemists bread and butter!
    • used in your hero phase. Pick a friendly “SKYFARERS” unit within 10″, +1 to Atks of one of the units weapon profile.  
  • Atmospheric Isolation:
    • Little used and often overlooked but actually quite powerful in some cases
    • Used at the beginning of the combat phase, enemy models within 3″ get -1 atks to all of their weapon profiles to a minimum of 1.

Units That Synergise With It

Knight Azyros?

I can’t think of anything that would directly make the Khemist better. There are some things that work well on top of, or in tandem with, a Khemist though. Anything that further buffs units or in anyway makes the buffed unit hit easier would synergise very well with a Khemist.

Units it Synergises With

Any “SKYFARERS” unit… Literally any! In my last game I used the buff on an Admirals hammer and if the enemy unit hadn’t been wiped out by a hail of skyhooks it would have been epic!

Allegiance Abilities

Barak Urbaz is the Skyport of  choice for those of us looking to use the Khemist to its maximum potential. Urbaz allows your khemists to give their buffs to 1 additional unit per khemist. That means that you can buff the skyhooks on your arkanauts AND the saws on your riggers with the SAME Khemist!!! It’s pretty boss. 


Aethershock Earbuster is the go to artefact for our foggy boi here. If the khemist gets any wounds through on an enemy unit that unit immediately takes a battleshock test. They also dont get the unit size bonus to bravery for this test because it’s not “in the battleshock phase. This is great against hordes and not bad if used judiciously against any unit.

I find the most effective way to use this is to first whittle your enemy down with pistols or other “secondary”shooting to the point where they can actually fail the test. Then you fire the Khemist, knock off a few more models (ideally) and then force the test. Using the Khemist first or to solo damage a unit can work but is less efficient and quite risky. 




Little better than spells.


I will do some more research on this. I think that there is a KO battalion that includes Khemists and gets better if you use Barrak Urbaz but I can’t quite remember what it is.

How to Use the Unit in Game

  • Keep it within 10″ of the units you want to buff.
  • Keep it towards the “front” (closest to the enemy threat) of the unit to maximize debuff effectiveness and help with survivability.

The main tactic used is to drop this guy out of a ship alongside a whackload of endrinriggers, Buff their saws and watch them tear apart anything they hit. 

That’s about it really.

Pros & Cons


  • Great synergies and force multiplication.
  • Decent shooting dmg.
  • Situationally powerful De-buff.


  • SO SLOW!!!!
  • Really pretty useless on his own.
  • Expensive (points).

Hobby Notes

A beautiful model with almost 0 convert-ability. Goes together great at least.

could be built and painted fairly easily in an afternoon, while catching up on the ridiculous number of hours of The honest Wargamer content of course.

Honest Goblin



My Bio:

Have been Hobbying for ages, started finally playing a little more than a year ago. I play Death (LoN and LoS) and Kharadron Overlords. 

You can find me as a regular guest on Mini War Gaming's AOS series, usually playing Death but, have been branching out and practicing with some mixed order lists lately. 

Gaming style:

Generally I would say that I am a "Controller" type of gamer, but recently I have started to veer towards "Quickie". 




  • “So because of all those debuffs, you can’t hit me” Cool, calm collected and they wake up in the morning hoping to make it rain on your sunny day. The aim of these players is to make you not play your army the way you want to or had planned to. While this is a very viable tactic, it's frustrating to play against and we imagine a sick delight to play as. Just be aware it won't get you many favourite game votes and knowing what units to control will require a lot of planning ahead of time and some good system mastery.


  •  “I alpha strike, then I either win or I hit the bar” Some players just don't want 2.5 hours of intense tactical decision making, to see every dice roll as a key part of a rosetta stone of decision rubrik and that's totally ok. You want a fun game and a low impact weekend. All the gamble of this playstyle happens in army selection. You go for the win in the early turns. 

Event Results:

I have been to several tournaments and have lost all but my very first game... So y'know... I'm obviously a fantastic source of strategic advice. 

Most of my playing experience actually comes from Making Battle reports with Mini War Gaming, for their AOS series.