Foot Varangur

Hi all,

Although traditionally Varangur has been seen as the faster cousin of the Northern Alliance, I thought I’d share my own experience of running an infantry-based Varangur force over the past few years.

This is especially the case, given that CoK 22 has made foot Varangur much more viable, as a result of the Lord upgrades (marks and horse), as well as a return of decent ranged options with unit strength, since Varangur light shooting outside the magus conclave was weakened at the start of third edition.

Anyways, without further ado, here is the units I consider central to foot Varangur, as well as some support elements.

Human Clansmen

Although some people see human clansmen as a bad option, a horde of clansmen with the staying stone is often one of my first picks in my lists (along with the defence 5 upgrade if I have the points for it). With average nerve, high defence and integrated crushing strength, they form the cornerstone of my frontline. Wild charge also allows them to outrange other average speed infantry in the charge war. The only downside is their melee 4+, which means of they are hindered, they are going to lose their half decent damage output.

With CoK 22, these guys are slightly cheaper, and benefit from lower defence options, the bloodbound keyword (magus support), as well as the marks of the foot lord.


As close as Varangur gets to foot blenders, these guys will generally put a dent in anything they hit. With integrated fury, I avoid giving regiments (and they should be regiments) of these any items to keep their cost down. Given their lowish nerve for their posts cost, they need decent chaff support to get where they need to and to protect them from heavy cavalry. As a unit, they are enormous fun to use.

In CoK 22, they also get the bloodbound keyword, which allows them to be used in conjunction with draugr and magus support. They also benefit from foot lord marks.


A cheap option in an otherwise expensive army, Draugr can be used in multiple ways. Some people use them in regiments, as cheap unlocks or objective holders.

My own preferred use is as a horde to protect the flank of my huscarls/clansmen as they advance up the board. They can usually be relied on to take two turns of combat against one enemy hammer, and, if left alone, can push away chaff and capture objectives in the middle of the board. Draugr often helps Varangur players feel less outnumbered in unit strength, but don’t expect them to kill anything more than chaff.

Since the CoK 22 changes, they can finally take damage from the more important units in the Varangur battle line with magus support.

Night Raiders

With CoK 22, my beloved night raiders are back to being a good option. Although they lost the integrated scout (you can buy back if you want), with range 4+ and 12 attacks at regiment size, a unit with bows can again help win the chaff war (or shooting duels, with integrated stealthy).

Recently, I have been playing around with troops armed with throwing axes (in place of snow foxes), with good results. They sit behind the main battle line before moving in front of frontline units to throw their axes and disrupt chaff/mainline units. They themselves then can act as chaff after causing disruption with their shooting. My only concern is their low nerve, as stealthy won’t save them from a waver in front of your battle line, bottling everything up.

With pathfinder, regiments of these guys sit in woods to get the best from stealthy and can hit quite hard in combat, especially in the flank. Just remember that they have average nerve and are only defence 3 (therefore they will die to a stiff breeze).

I usually never leave home in my foot list without a regiment with bows. At the very least they can provide accurate fire support against chaff and enemy shooting, and hold objectives in your own half.


Support Characters

Foot Lord with marks

Although often unpopular with other players, I have always been a fan of the Varangur Lord option. With defence 5, mighty, and very inspiring, he often sat between my two huscarl units or next to my clansmen.

Now in CoK 22, the Foot Lord is an even better choice. Although 6 attacks is nice, it is the auras from the mark upgrades that are the most to shout home about. All seem viable, although my own favourites are the ones that give brutal and stealthy auras (against combat and shooty armies respectively). The stealthy one especially seems like an excellent way to ensure your huscarls get to the enemy line in one piece, especially in an army with so little ability to heal its units. Combined with night raiders, it would be quite straightforward to have an entire infantry force under the stealthy rule.

It is worth noting that a Lord on horse is also an excellent choice in a foot Varangur list, as heavy cavalry often think twice about wandering into range of a Lord with 6/7+ attacks (snow fox, scythe item, shadowbeast), thereby protecting your infantry.


An old favourite of mine. With bane chant, the inspiring item and lightning bolt 4 (with elite), the Magus proved the perfect, albeit expensive, support character to the slow advance of my Varangur line. Sitting safely between units, he would provide inspiring, while supporting the night raiders in clearing away chaff or bane chanting charging clansmen.

Now in CoK 22, he can finally use his transfusion ability to move damage from my huscarl to my draugr.


Example of 1,000 points Varangur foot list

Human clansmen horde with defence 5 upgrade and chalice of wrath

Draugr horde

Night raider regiment with bows and staying stone

Night raider troop with throwing axes

Night raider troop with throwing axes

Lord with horse and blade of slashing

Magus with inspiring talisment and bane chant

Unit strength: 11


Depending on the response, I may go into some more detail about some other support elements another day. Although it is very late here in the UK so I am stopping for now.

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Good stuff.

For thematic reasons (did a dark age/viking style army) my varangur are predominantly infantry with a smattering of cavalry.

Clansmen are better than there were, but would still tend to with draugr and huscarls, plus night raiders and (I have a slight soft dot for) reavers.

The monster support, frostfang and snow trolls all fit better into an infantry style list than a quicker all cav one. Wolves, foxes and fallen can now do a flanking job rather than (with the first two) being relegated to chaff/screening role.

The night raider wolf handler upgrade is pretty decent even if you aren’t running wolves - they will benefit from the vicious(melee) effect.

The [1] Lord aura ability is nice - the choice really depends on your local meta as they are all pretty decent options


Funny timing, I’ve just been looking at a list built around lots of Huscarls because I found some tempting models. I like the idea of Huscarls backed up by Draugr and Varangur’s great monster support, but I worry it would be really weak to shooting pressure and quite easy to chaff up and engage on the enemy’s terms. I haven’t actually put it on the table, but can you speak to how you create good engagements?


I really like the change to Human Clansmen, 120 points for a De4 + CS1 regiment is nice. All the lists I’ve messed around with have been based on a backbone of these.


Lord’s stealthy aura and Veil can both help v shooting, but you rwally need to ensure you have a couple of units that can threaten/negate shooting - flying or mounted son/lord or Maggy, scouting night raiders or wolves/horse raiders.

Most of the heroes can easily deal with chaff units - the frostfang versions being square based, nimble and taller than your infantry can do a lot of tricky movement stuff on the charge.

Using refused flank etc can limit the volume of shooting coming your way, esp if mainly infantry as it mean war engines etc will have restricted targeting options if you layer up right


I also have a soft spot for reavers, but find that huscarls are just better pointswise, even with the CoK 22 changes. I would like to play around with troops of them again at some point, so may change my opinion of them.

Sceleris covered a lot of what I would have said.

I would just reiterate that the largest threats to huscarls are fast moving hammers of all sorts, as well as concentrated piercing shooting.

With integrated fury, they will keep fighting until dead once they are In combat. You must ensure that they reach there, and that they are chopping the right things into little pieces (ie the enemy’s main combat blocs and unit strength, and not chaff).

To achieve this, my snow foxes and horse raiders usually sit nearby to see off enemy chaff, as well as block enemy fast hammers. Night raiders and magus shooting also can waver or rout opposing chaff that is trying to block your huscarls.

Remember, a sizeable chunk of your army is there to ensure that the slow moving huscarls reach where they need to, ie blending the enemy’s front line near the objectives.

In my opinion, no unit is more fun to use in KoW than huscarls. They require finesse to get the most out of, and are not as simple as point and click (though it may seem that way to your opponent!), but they are well costed and grind enemies with the best of them (save perhaps soul reaver infantry, but we don’t speak about those =D).

Hope this helps.

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I haven’t tried regiments of them, favouring the horde, but at the cheaper cost that comes with defence 4, I feel you may be right that this is a viable way to run them. May have to try at some point.

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I will also mention that both the cavern dweller and jabberwocky make great supporting monsters for a foot Varangur list.

The former deals with defence 6 low attack enemy monsters and guards the flank of the Varangur infantry. The latter is especially good to throw into a combat alongside huscarls and clansmen hordes to ensure an attritional combat turns into the routing of a horde/elite regiment (as the damage from your infantry only makes the jabberwocky cause more damage itself).

Beware, however, monsters in your list will lower the overall unit strength of your army, as you could buy a regiment of huscarls/horde of clansmen in their place for a similar cost.

Snow trolls are also a great addition to the Varangur foot list, despite their 4+ melee value. Crushing strength 2 and vicious ensure that anything that hits will likely hurt. Like clansmen, just be aware that hindered trolls are likely not to cause massive damage and rout anything more than a troop, and therefore be aware of possible enemy countercharges before sending them charging into terrain.

ALWAYS bring with chalice of Wrath item (or headstrong item of you prefer) for fury to ensure to mitigate the large nerve gap of trolls.

The potential 15 inch charge from the reavers, plus Fearless does make for an interesting combo, esp with cheap access to LL2.

I do agree that huscarls are in a sweet spot rules/points wise so are often the ‘better’ choice.

2300 seems to be current standard. If you spend 250-300 of that on draugr for unlocks, cheap US, objective sitters and a bit of potential wound removal, then spend the rest on killy stuff you cover lots of bases.

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I forgot about the wild charge addition! Perhaps that will make them more of an interesting option than before. Do you run them as troops or regiments (with the lifeleech mark)?

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Haven’t had a post CoK22 run out yet, but I’d built a regiment and 2 troops.

Against armies with even basic shooting they will suffer, but keep in inspiring range and they are actually quite sturdy, plus the troops will murder opposition chaff.


@Luke which models did you find?

Bestiarum’s latest stl release, real dark souls vibe, varangur seems like the best fit.

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I saw it and immediately made a Fallen-heavy Varangur list. Then I showed it to my buddy, and he immediately started printing one :sweat_smile:

What are you using as Fallen? I’ve found them hard to imagine a model for, height 2 large infantry is weird.