Black Hammer of Hashut
An old favourite – basically a great weapon which doesn’t strike last and which you can use with a shield – with a neat twist; if it wounds you and you’re Flammable, you die. Yet another reason Ash Storm is the best spell in the Lore of Hashut, I think. Looks like a great one for a Taur’uk: the Castellans’ I is low enough that you might as well go for a great weapon instead, plus the Taur’uk will get into combat faster and thus get more mileage out of it.
Dagger of Malice
For a score of points one model can get Hatred, which you also get from your Signature spell, so it feels a bit redundant on the first look. I guess it’s a budget pick for an independent Taur’uk: he’d have high enough S to not care about the lack of bonuses and wouldn’t be worth casting Breath of Hatred on (not when it could affect a whole unit instead).
Three score points for Killing Blow and a once per game smack-everyone-you’re-touching effect which, curiously, also affects anything the owner happens to be riding. Too expensive for the Taur’uk, the Castellan’s base is too small to be worth it, and the Prophet already has a magic weapon which will, at worst, be just as good as this, and probably end up being more helpful and not smite his own Taurus in the chops. I’m unimpressed. Still, I’m glad this is the big spendy one and the Black Hammer is so cheap.
Armour of Bazharak the Cruel
A 2+ armour save that can’t be improved, and a 5+ Ward against magic. In and of itself that’s not bad, but the thing is, any Legion character who can afford it (everyone but the Khan) can get a 2+ save or better by taking the Enchanted Shield on top of their Blackshard Armour, and I don’t think a 5+ Ward against magic is really worth half a hundred points.
Mask of the Furnace
An expensive helmet that, as expected, awards +1 to armour saves and also adds a 4+ ward which increases to 2+ against flaming attacks. I don’t hate it – a 2+/4+ on a Castellan or 3+/4+ on a Prophet ain’t bad – but it’s going to eat most of a Castellan’s item allowance and a decent chunk of a Prophet’s for not much more protection than the cheaper Talisman of Whatever The 4+ Save One Is Called. Basically, it’s the Dragonhelm and that run together for the same price, which does mean you could double up on the effect across a list, but I don’t know if it’s a big enough deal to justify the cost.
+1 T, -1 I for two score points, and it’s a Talisman so you can layer armour on top of it. That’s pretty good, actually. You accept that you’re going to strike last… or before enemies with great weapons at least – and for your trouble you get a T6 character.
Banner of Slavery
Hobgoblins within 12″ become Immune to Psychology. A double-edged sword if ever I saw one, since it prevents the tactical fleeing that cheap units are made for – but it would help big, Steadfast-breaking blocks of Hobbos stay around if they happened to be shot at, or had to engage something scary. Might be good in the right build, i.e. one with a solid bunkery Chaos Dwarf unit and a couple of Hobgoblin bricks around, with the tactical fleeing and baiting mostly going on on the flanks. It’s sufficiently cheap that a unit can carry it, rather than tying your Battle Standard down, but it’s such a Battle Standardy kind of effect that I think you’d want them in the same sort of place. Thinking about it, if it’s the Battle Standard then it can Make Way away from Hobgoblins who you might want to run away. Could be fun.
Chalice of Blood and Darkness
It’ll fill a Daemonsmith’s item allowance and it’s definitely what you might term the gambler’s choice. On a good turn, it’ll nick three of your opponent’s power/dispel dice, one of yours, and give the bearer back a lost wound. On a bad turn, it’ll nick one of your opponent’s power/dispel dice, three of yours, and inflict an unsaveable wound on the poor sod who’s taken a swig from it. Of particular note is the watertight wording on how you roll – it’s very clear that you roll one die at a time and declare before rolling whether it’s yours or theirs. I’m not sure about this one. Taking the edge off the EXTREME Warhammer 8th edition magic phase seems like an inherently good idea; it could fit well with a generally defensive approach to magic (i.e. one of these on a baby Daemonsmith and the Staff of Sorcery on the Prophet) but could undermine an aggressive one. Possibly worth going for just to tweak a particularly unfavourable Winds roll a few times per game; it’ll have twelve chances to make an impact and there’s bound to be one or two where it serves you well, surely?
Daemon Flask of Ashak
Prophets only. A big damn random button. Forcing a Panic test on every Panickable enemy within 18″ might be good if you’ve already eliminated the enemy Battle Standard Bearer and whittled the General’s Leadership down a bit. Forcing d6 automatic wounds on every enemy war engine or chariot and every building within the same distance might also be worth it or might result in a big fat cock-all. I feel in my heart that this is not one for the pick-up or tournament game, simply because you might run into an army that doesn’t care about the Panic, an army that doesn’t have any chariots or war engines, a table without sufficient buildings close together or an opponent who simply avoids getting that close to you. In fact, looking through the core rulebook, I’m not even sure how you go about destroying buildings in Warhammer. Probably one to avoid unless you have some scenario in mind.