Airships are a lifelong fascination of mine, but I was still sore over losing the Old World when Kharadron Overlords was first released and I couldn’t find it in myself to jump aboard. Since then, my ire has lessened and I bought into Hedonites a bit, but didn’t like them as much as I thought I would. Specifically, I had a hard time getting behind the immortal daemons narratively. I was actually going to get into 40k Adeptus Mechanicus, until my wife expressed the desire to finish building her Daughters of Khaine and field them; and it turns out she also wanted my Hedonites. I first looked at Cities of Sigmar, since I already had a small collection of Aelves, but people kept recommending Kharadron Overlords.
I sat down with the battletome and rose up afterward a Kharadron Overlord player. That being said, I have a personal guideline for fielding my version of the army: no Arkanaut Company unless absolutely necessary. I may change my opinion on that in the future, but for now Arkanaut Companies are a tax I would prefer to avoid, especially since they’re absent from the Aether War and the Start Collecting! Boxes. This restriction means that my armies will revolve around the Grundstok Escort Wing and Intrepid Prospectors (while it lasts) battalions, as well as leaning into choices that open alternative battleline units.
Endrinmaster with Dirigible Suit (EDS) as Warlord: Endrinriggers and Skywardens
EDS is a beast and widely regarded as a must-take. In 1k games, the current tier for my household, Intrepid Prospectors leave little room for flexibility, but enough points for a Gunhauler with Compartments to ferry around a unit of five Thunderers. Until I get an Arkanaut Ironclad, EDS as Warlord is the standard. Let’s not forget the usefulness of Endrinriggers in a vessel heavy army.
Barak-Nor: Grundstok Thunderers
Thunderers are troops to have stowed in any sky-worthy vessel, and sit five-a-piece in the SC! boxes. Lacking room for an Aetheric Navigator, Barak-Nor will also let my EDS cope to some degree with my wife’s myriad spellcasters.
Barak-Urbaz: Gundstok Gunhaulers
Gunhauler battleline and an avoidable artifact/trait tax make this barak quite appealing to me, but until I can produce the aforementioned Aetheric Navigator and Arkanaut Ironclad I’ll have to throw in with Barak-Nor.
Barak-Zilfin: Arkanaut Frigate
This barak has many interesting abilities, and an avoidable command trait, but Frigates as battleline isn’t one of them in my opinion. There is a place for the Frigate, but since I’m not using Arkanaut Company, its usefulness diminishes. It is likely that I will, someday, purchase a couple along with those erstwhile Arkanauts, but for now Zilfin isn’t on the short list.