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! 🙂
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!
1 Model p/ Unit
Move: 4 Wounds: 5 Brav: 7 Save: 4+
- Noxious Aether :
- R: 10″ Atks: 3d6 Hit: 4+ Wnd: 4+ Rnd: -2 Dmg: 1
- 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
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!
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).
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.