: This post will bleed into the first few comments below the OP. Information on the Units displayed and all the sources, among other things, will be in the first few comments below the OP.
The Amazons, as with anything that didn't get an official army book, are a faction that has been subject to years of hearsay and misinformation; a faction many people disavow or assume is fan-made, but despite their obscurity, they're about as legit as you can get, barring having their own army book. They've been around since 2nd edition, they were devised by Richard Halliwell himself (Lustria, in general, was his brainchild) and they have more source material, noted units and potential than perhaps even the Vampire Coast had.
The problem is that the original lore for them was seemingly lost to time (being all the way back in 2nd edition) and since then, Games Workshop intentionally made all references to them fragmented and incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't read all of it and put 2 and 2 together (literally referencing things out of context that make no sense unless you've read through a scenario from 2nd edition). Thankfully though, that's exactly what I've done.
So its time to set the record straight once and for all. In this post, I'll be going over who the Amazons are, what they're about, what official stuff they have from their lore, models and rules, and then I’ll add in some conjecture of my own and top it off with sources at the bottom to show how tenable an Amazon faction could be.
Disclaimers going forward
⦁ Because this race is largely unknown to people, I’m going to be using a lot of comparisons to units from other factions like Witch Elves and Swordmasters to help explain what they’re about. This is not to suggest that these Amazon units are derivative of them or simple reskins, its just for the sake of brevity.
⦁ I’ll be using 40k artwork and models from the Escher Gang here and there just to give you an idea. The Escher Gang was directly inspired by the Amazons and might as well be the same faction. This is not to imply that the units will look like 40k and be out of place if implemented into WH2.
⦁ While the Amazons have plenty of lore, models and stated units, the one thing they've always lacked is official artwork, so alot of the art I used in general is mostly placeholder, coming from other sources just to paint a pretty picture of what the unit or character might look like (things like the Queen of Amazonia being Princess Mononoke is simply creative liberty for my own enjoyment since we have no images of her).
⦁ Some roles may overlap. In fact, there are more units than displayed here which I didn’t add for this reason, I’m sure CA could find a niche but if some seem similar it’s because they are.
⦁ Yes, they are still cannon. They appear in 2nd and 3rd edition, they survived the purge of 4th edition and are referenced in 5th, 6th, and 7th ed as well as Mordheim.
⦁ The 40K weapons they use were never ret-conned and in 6th edition GW brought many of them back but started to rename and somewhat distance them from their 40K roots, making them more Aztec and Old One inspired. This would be an easy way for CA to bypass any issues that may arise with them being 1 to 1 ripped from 40K, they just need to change the design and name slightly as they did for Power Swords and some others already.
Who are the Amazons?
Some of you may have heard the theory that the Amazons were Norscan Valkyries who grew tired of their lazy useless husbands in Skeggi, took up arms, slaughtered them and set off to the Isle of Amazon, converting to the Lizardmen religion and becoming savages. This did happen, but its not where the Amazons as a race came from, the Valkyries merely assimilated into Amazon society.
The true Amazons are aesthetically a combination of Mesoamerican Tribeswomen, the Ancient Greeks (or Scythians rather) of their namesake and Punk-Rock Girls like the Escher 40k Gang they inspired. They’ve existed just as long as the Lizardmen and according to their mythology, they are the direct descendants of "The Goddess Rigg". Rigg was an Old One and she's also the main deity in the Amazon Pantheon. For whatever reason, Rigg was considered an "Outsider/Outcast" among the Old Ones, so while all the other Old Ones went on with the Great Plan, working directly with the 1st generation Slann and all that, Rigg and Elven God known as Amex had a child called "Kalith, the Mother of all Amazons" and together with her Daughter, Rigg created her own little kingdom known as “Amazonia” In southern Lustria. Even back then, Amazonia was a wild and fiercely independent land.
While their mythology tells that Kalith was the Daughter of Rigg and that the Amazons are the Goddesses children, other sources state that the Amazons were genetic experiments created by the Old Ones, just like the Lizardmen, and that Kalith might simply have been a champion amongst the women that Rigg picked to lead them, or perhaps she was the original test subject or the first / greatest success of their experiments.
It's unclear what involvement Rigg had with the creation of the Slann, the Temple-Cities and the world in general. We don't know why she went into exile, or whether that exile was self-imposed or not (It seems to have been, but we never get confirmation).
Despite being in exile, Rigg, Kalith, and their children (the Amazons) were accepted by the other Old Ones and the Lizardmen. There was a time where the Amazons and Lizardmen wared continually, with the Amazons fiercely defending their autonomy, but eventually, they're able to trade and co-exist relatively peacefully. The Amazons themselves were even valued as Acolytes/Viziers and Thralls by the other Old Ones and the Slann and were known as “the Right hand of the Gods”, “The Eternal Handmaidens” and Rigg’s “Faithful Half-Kin”, presumably because the Amazons are either a fusion of Old One and Human DNA, or they are literally the direct descendants of the Goddess and her daughter Kalith.
During the High age of Southern Lustria, before the arrival of Chaos, the Amazons were ruled over by Rigg, her daughter Kalith and an order of mages who were the closest thing to scientists the Warhammer World is going to get. They studied under Rigg (and possibly the other Old Ones) they could read their language and helped manufacture their great technology as the Slann and Lizardmen did.
When the Great Catastrophe saw the departure of the Old Ones from this world, and while the Lizardmen fought a centuries-long war against Chaos, the Amazons found themselves weakened when the Old Ones left this world, though it's not stated outright, it would seem they had some superhuman abilities and/or a natural immortality when they served the Old Ones; abilities that were diminished when their masters left this world. Being far smaller in number than the Lizardmen and frightened by their diminished power, they fled into the jungle to start hundreds of secret enclaves of nomadic tribes, small villages, and occupied Temple-Cities/shrines/Monuments of the Old Ones, etc, throughout the whole continent of Lustria.
The first generation Slann were all killed and those Lizardmen that remained had no first-hand knowledge of the Old Ones, the Great Plan or their tech, so they devolved into a more superstitious and primitive people. But the Amazons, having successfully hidden themselves away and outlasted the Great Catastrophe, did not forget, and While they couldn’t recreate the Old Ones technological wonders, they knew how it all worked; they can repair and rebuild their structures and weapons, they have ancient tomes for magic and other things (basically instruction manuals for magic and technology) which they can still read and they know how to use their weaponry properly.
The Ancient Order of Mages that once ruled them alongside the Old Gods formed the basis of the modern-day Amazon Sisterhood. This order is the centre of their religion, they are the high priestesses, mages and technocrats who control all of the Old One artefacts, tomes, weapons and secrets held by their people. While the Amazons have different tribes with different leaders and a monarchy who rules over them all, it seems even the Queen herself has to defer to the Sisterhood's wisdom and authority.
The Religion and the Koka-Kalim
The Amazons Worship Rigg as the mother of their people and the patron deity of warfare, blood, Koka, and Violent Death. While there are many way temples dedicated to their Pantheon doted throughout Amazonia, the Temple of Kara Within Genaina (the city surrounding it) and the Shrine of Rigg upon the Shores of Lake Lokka are the two religious centres of the Cult of Rigg and worshippers of the Goddess make regular pilgrimages to these holy sites.
The Koka-Kalim are religious Zealots (equivalent to Witch Elves) who are fanatically dedicated to the Worship of Rigg. As part of their devotion, their order stresses the religious value of the narcotic “Koka” to which they are all incredibly addicted. Constantly in the grip of the drug’s effects, the woman of this order eat, sleep and say very little. Deprived of normal sensory functions, they can overcome great pain and have little natural aversion to blood slaughter or death. Their state of mind makes them unpredictable, irrational, strung out and constantly on edge.
With their monopoly on the Technocratic religious establishment, the sisterhood maintain a small army of Koka-Kalim as servants, guards and fighters. These elite few who serve the Sisterhood are known as Kalim Devouts and it is the woman of these sacred orders who are entrusted with Old One Weaponry, most commonly Power Swords and Bolt Guns.
The Amazons are physically identical to other humans, and while they are mortal and can still be killed, they don’t physically age and their population is almost entirely female. Among the Old Ones many augmentations of them, the Amazons were adapted to reproduce through Fluctuative Parthenogenesis, meaning they can reproduce as we do, but they can also reproduce asexually as some other animals can (Komodo Dragons for example). The process of reproduction is controlled by the Amazonian Sisterhood, whose priestesses use their knowledge of the Old Ones techniques to concoct various natural drugs that induce pregnancy and determine the gender of the child. Traditional reproduction can happen but is rare due to the introverted and involved nature of Amazon society.
The Norscan Legends
The Norscans have had a fair few encounters with the Amazons going back as far as Losteriksson, one brave Amazonian "Penthesilea" even led a raid into Skeggi itself and slaughtered many, including their chieftain. Local legend is that the Amazons were widows from Skeggi who grew weary of their husbands failed expeditions and left many years earlier. The Norse knew them as Valkyries, just like the fabled warriors of the Norse Gods who come to collect the souls of the bravest warriors who fall in battle.
The men of the Empire, on the other hand, have far less experience, only catching glimpses and learning mostly through hearsay. Imperial Scholars are known to be as arrogant as they are ignorant of the actual workings of the world, there are plenty of in-jokes between GW and their fans where Imperial scholars will reject the existence of the OId Ones, the Skaven, even evolution, because they think they know better, and the legend of the Valkyries is another case of this.
The Imperials almost unanimously believe the Norscan tales, all except one known as "Drivot the Diatribist". Drivot Was a Wizard of the College of Light who made bold claims about the Amazons and other elements of the Warhammer world that seemed preposterous to most imperial Scholars, who claim that there's no evidence to suggest he'd even been to the places he rants about with such fervour and madness. Ironically, this story that claims all that Drivot says is nonsense secretly proves hes right and brings the Amazons original lore back into the cannon, because there is proof Drivot is telling the truth. If we go back to the Shrine of Rigg scenario from 2nd edition, there is a list of everything contained within the Amazons library and sitting in there are 2 books titled "Drivot’s Diatribes parts 1 and 2" (I've highlighted it in the sources below the OP).
The truth of the matter is that the creation myth of the Amazons and the Norscan legends are both atleast half true. The Amazons were created by the Old Ones, However, in recent times their numbers have dwindled / they want to grow, so contact with other humans has increased and groups like the Norscan women who left have been recruited and assimilated into Amazon society, thus bolstering their numbers.
Amazon Faction Playstyle
The Amazonians are visually and from a lore perspective, one of the most unique and interesting factions in WHFB, taking inspiration from Punk-Rock Women, Mesoamerican cultures, the Greeks and Scythians where the myth originates, with a little bit of SI-FI/40K sprinkled in there for good measure.
Their playstyle draws from these sources accordingly and as a faction, they exist in a Venn Diagram between Kislev, Norsca and the Wood Elves. They're a lightning-quick, hybrid, squishy, high damage output faction. But where the Wood Elves are the ultimate kite faction, with Tree Spirits to obfuscate their squishiness, Norsca have very powerful hammers to complement their squishy high damage anvils and Kislev has a well-rounded mix, The Amazons are focused around Ambushing, stealth and hit-and-run skirmish play.
they'd have their drugs, poison and berserker rage-type mechanics that would stop them from losing models under their influence or tank damage like Savage Orcs. This, combined with dodge and deflect, would allow them to transcend their squishy nature if used correctly. Considering they live in the jungles and swamps around the Amaxon River, it'd also be good if most of their roster had strider, able to fight in the jungle and water with ease.
The boring thing to do would be to give them bonuses to fighting in the forest like the Wood Elves, but I think it'd be more interesting and befitting if they gave them buffs for when they switch between Terrain types. So, when you burst out of a forest to attack someone, when you charge into the water or out of the water, or into the forest, etc. This totally fits them like a glove, as all over their lore it talks about them rushing in and out of cover, ambushing, chasing after fleeing enemies etc. It would also engender constant movement and awareness of the terrain types, rather than the passivity of sitting in the forest.
Amazon Army List
Hybrid Melee-Ranged Units
Cavalry, Monsters and Beasts
Old One Tech (for units and/or characters)
Units that aren't officially in their roster, but are heavily related / plausible
Lore of the Serpent (unique Lore)
Magical ItemsSource List
Warhammer 2nd edition army book, Battle Bestiary
Lizardmen 5th edition army book
Lizardmen 7th edition Army Book
Lizardmen 8th edition Army Book
Citadel 2nd edition Compendium
Citadel 3rd edition compendium
-Shrine of Rigg Scenario Page 6-14
Mordheim Town Cryer Issue 11
Mordheim Town Cryer issue 15
Mordheim Town Cryer Issue 23
Spanish White Dwarf #50 (allegedly)
White Dwarf #300
White Dwarf #305
White Dwarf #307
White Dwarf #308
Additional Rules by Andy Hoare
Lustria Campaign Supplement