Age of Sigmar/Tactics/Chaos/Slaves to Darkness

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The old warriors of chaos enter the Mortal Realms as the re-done Slaves to Darkness. The Slaves to Darkness fight for any of the chaos gods or the gods as a pantheon, and can be built in a variety of ways with plenty opportunity for synergy between heroes and units.

Why Play Slaves to Darkness?[edit]

Pros[edit]

  • Reuses Warriors of Chaos models from WFB, making them a quasi-old-school faction (or at least a money-saver).
  • Pals with most other Chaos factions, giving providing a wide range of allies, allegiances, and playstyles.
  • You have lots of options for battleline units.

Cons[edit]

  • Your faction acronym is "STD"
  • a faction designed around early Age of Sigmar with a focus on rerolling 1's for everything will have a lackluster playstyle.

Rulebooks[edit]

There isn't currently a Battletome for Slaves to Darkness.

  • The Grand Alliance Chaos book has all the Warscrolls and Battations.
  • This should be supplemented with the Grand Alliance Chaos Errata and Designers' Commentary from the FAQs.
  • Allegiance Abilities are in the General's handbook 2018.
  • Matched play points are in the General's handbook 2018.
  • Alternatively up to date warscrolls can be found in the WH AoS app.

As with all factions you'll want:

  • The core rules are either downloadable or in the Core Book.
  • Games taking place in a Realm need the Realm of Battle rules from the Core Book.
  • In you want to take advantage of realm specific artefacts you'll need the Artefacts Of The Realms section from the Malign Sorcery book.
  • Matched play battleplans are split across the Core Book and General's handbook 2018.
  • All books should be supplemented with any updates from the FAQs.

Allegiance Abilities[edit]

Battle Traits[edit]

If your army has a SLAVES TO DARKNESS allegiance and chose to take the SLAVES TO DARKNESS allegiance abilities, it has the following rule:

Aura of Chaos Power: SLAVES TO DARKNESS HEROES can grant an ability to friendly SLAVES TO DARKNESS units which have the same Mark of Chaos as them. The units in receipt of the ability must be within x" of the HERO when they use the ability. A unit that is within x" of more than one friendly SLAVES TO DARKNESS HERO can only use the Aura of Chaos Power from one of them.

The abilities are:

  • Khorne: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made in the combat phase by a unit granted this ability wholly within 8".
  • Slaanesh: Re-roll dice rolls of 1 when making run or charge rolls for a unit granted this ability wholly within 6".
  • Nurgle: Re-roll wound rolls of 1 for attacks made by a unit granted this ability wholly within 7".
  • Tzeentch: Re-roll save rolls of 1 for a unit granted this ability wholly within 9".
  • No Mark: Add 1 to the Bravery of a unit granted this ability wholly within 12".

Basically a variant to the Warshrine's Favour of the Ruinous Powers, without the need to pray. Solid enough already.

Eye of the Gods: If a CHAOS HERO in a SLAVES TO DARKNESS army (with the exception of any DAEMON PRINCES) makes an attack in a combat phase that slays one or more enemy HEROES or MONSTERS, make a roll on the table below after the HERO’S attacks have been completed. Roll a dice if a reward other than ‘The Eye Opens’ is received by a model more than once. On a 1-3 apply the ‘Spawndom’ result instead, and on a 4-6 apply the ‘Dark Apotheosis’ result instead.

2D6 Reward
2 Spawndom: You can add a Chaos Spawn to your army. If you do, set up a Chaos Spawn model within 1" of the HERO, and then remove the hero. The Chaos Spawn does not cost reinforcement points in a Pitched Battle. It cannot attack in the phase in which it is set up. If you do not add a Chaos Spawn to your army, the hero suffers D3 mortal wounds instead.
3-4 Unholy Resilience: Add 1 to the HERO’s Wounds characteristic for the rest of the battle.
5 Iron Skin: Add 1 to the HERO’s save rolls for the rest of the battle.
6-8 The Eye Opens: You can re-roll the next failed hit, wound or save roll for the HERO.
9 Murderous Mutation: Add 1 to the HERO’s hit rolls for the rest of the battle.
10-11 Slaughterer’s Strength: Add 1 to the HERO’s wound rolls for the rest of the battle.
12 Dark Apotheosis: You can add a Daemon Prince to your army. If you do, set up a Daemon Prince model within 1" of the HERO, and then remove the hero. The Daemon Prince does not cost reinforcement points in a Pitched Battle. It cannot attack in the phase in which it is set up. If you do not add a Daemon Prince to your army, treat this as ‘The Eye Opens’ instead.

Command Traits[edit]

A SLAVES TO DARKNESS General of an army with a SLAVES TO DARKNESS allegiance and has chosen to take the SLAVES TO DARKNESS allegiance abilities can choose one of the following Command:

  1. Eternal Vendetta: You can re-roll failed wound rolls for attacks made by the general in the combat phase against targets with the ORDER keyword.
  2. Flames of Spite: If the wound roll for an attack made by the general is 6 or more, it inflicts 1 mortal wound in addition to any other damage that is inflicted.
  3. Master of Deception: The opposing player must subtract 1 from hit rolls made for attacks that target the general in the combat phase.
  4. Hatred Incarnate: You can re-roll wound rolls of 1 for attacks made by the general.
  5. Lord of Terror: Subtract 1 from the Bravery of enemy units that are within 6" of the general in the battleshock phase.
  6. Exalted Champion: Add 1 to the Bravery of friendly SLAVES TO DARKNESS units that are wholly within 12" of the general in the battleshock phase.

Slaves to Darkness Artefacts[edit]

One HERO in your army (+1 per additional Warscroll Battalion) may take a relic from the following tables:

  1. Hellfire Sword: Once per battle, in your shooting phase, pick an enemy unit within 8" of this model. That unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.
  2. Idolatrous Plackart: Roll a D6 each time this model suffers a mortal wound. On a 5 or more that wound is negated and has no effect.
  3. Helm of the Oppressor: Enemy units within 6" of this model in the battleshock phase must subtract 1 from their Bravery. put this and the Lord of Terror command trait on a CHAOS LORD ON MANTICORE with a mark of Slaanesh and see your enemies flee with you -3 to bravery.
  4. Banner of the Demagogue: Add 1 to the Bravery of friendly SLAVES TO DARKNESS units wholly within 12" of this model.
  5. Mark of the All-favoured: Seen an update with 2nd Edition. gives the user exuded all the five Auras of Chaos Power but they can't take a mark. useful if your running a mixed god build and want to cut down on characters. Ideal should be placed on a Hero that already can't take a mark.
  6. Desecrator Gauntlets: Subtract 2 from the casting rolls of enemy WIZARDS that are within 3" of this model. In addition, add 1 to wound rolls for this model if the target is a WIZARD or PRIEST.

Warscrolls[edit]

Named Heroes[edit]

Slambo: Back from the great beyond, Slambo returns. He's essentially an Exalted Hero who can throw his axes for only one attack with d3 damage. Other than that, he still has the second pile-in attack and +1 to hit a monster or hero and double attacks if they die. Strictly superior to a regular Exalted Hero solely because of the fact that he's fuckin' Slambo.

Sayl the Faithless: (forgeworld) A nice wizard. Only casting one spell a turn is disappointing, but his special Traitor's Mist spell makes up for it, Teleport one friendly SLAVES TO DARKNESS unit wholly within 15" for a casting value of 7. This is just as horrendous and hilarious as it sounds, especially if used on a big mob of Chosen or a Mammoth to help them cross the distance to the enemy quicker. Can also deal D3 mortal wounds to a unit within 8", which can be handy for picking off wounded heroes or forcing battleshock. Finally, if Nightmaw is around (less than 3" away) Sayl can redirect his wounds on him/her/it on a 4+.

Nightmaw: (forgeworld) Sayl's pet is a cute little hellspawn devoted to his master. 6HP, a 4+ save (increased to 3+ against spells and shooting) coupled with a special 5+ save against mortal wounds, as well as healing himself 1 wound per turn, makes him a competent enough distraction. He is capable of tying up and slowly making his way through a basic infantry unit, but he should only really be considered to tank wounds for Sayl.

Heroes[edit]

Daemon Prince: Fast and decently killy. You can dedicate him to a God, but doing so takes away his decent Monster/Hero-kills-heal ability. All God-specific abilities are good, but the Slaanesh one is pure trolling: When your opponent chooses to pile in within 3" of the Daemon Prince, you can pile in and fight with the Daemon Prince before they are allowed to act. For some ridiculous reason, only Tzeentch Daemon Princes are Wizards and even they aren't all that good at it, getting no unique spell or boost to cast.

Darkoath Chieftain: Comes from the Silver Tower Boxgame. He is a Cheap Melee hero that can't take any chaos marks. His job is probably to charge into weaker groups of units, where his Broadsword 3x (3+/3+/-1/1) make 6 attacks on the charge & he deals a mortal wound to every unit 1" of him and the end of combat. If the chief has inflicted 8 wounds over the battle, he adds 1 to hit rolls & then 1 to wound rolls at 16 wounds.

Darkoath Warqueen: Another Markless cheap hero. She has a sheld that lets her ignore wounds and mortal wounds of 6+ roll. Her Warlord Axe 4x (3+/3+/-1/1) deals 2 damage instead if directed at Heros or Monsters and gains more Attack if she slays them. Finally, if She is your General her command ability provides a re-roll for failed charges for Slaves To Darkness units wholly within 12" at the start of the charge phase.

Lord of Chaos: Has a brutal pair of weapons, both attack thrice, hitting and making wounds at +3. The Reaperblade has a range of 2", -2 rend and 2 damage, and once per battle he has the option to make one attack, but making 2D6 fucking damage. Gets a different ability depending on his mark (Khorne allows him to reroll every 1 to hit, Tzeentch to reroll every 1 to save, Nurgle to reroll every 1 to wound and Slaanesh allows him to run and charge in the same turn) and any Slaves to Darkness unit within 10" with his same mark gets the ability too. If you have the Slave's Allegiance, the command ability is only useful if a given unit is further then 6" (or if you're Slaanesh, which grants a diferente ability). If he kills the opponent general, he becomes a Daemon Prince on a whim, but if he dies he becomes... you know what.

Exalted Hero of Chaos: A guy with two axes with the nifty ability to attack twice in the turn he charged (he pileups again between the two attack waves), and when he kills a Hero or a Monster he will deal double wounds in the next turn.

Chaos Lord on Daemonic Mount: Pretty good actually. Ability-wise he's almost the same as the walking one, too, though for some reason while a Mark of Tzeentch only allows the on-foot Lord to reroll save rolls of 1, this one can reroll all save rolls if he's Tzeentchian, and the Mark of Nurgle gives him an extra wound instead of allowing him to reroll every 1 to wound. Combined with Eye of the Gods, this makes him all but unkillable so long as you feed a steady stream of Heroes to him. His Command Ability allows a Chariot or Knight unit to reroll charge rolls and adds +1 to their Hit rolls. Gorebeast Chariots hitting on 3+? Yes, please.

Chaos Lord on Manticore: The Lord on Manticore can have a choice between Flail and Sword, with the Sword being better in most circumstances and a choice between Runeshield, Daggerfist, and Lance. The Lance might be awesome, but since everyone and their grandma will be gunning for your Manticore, the 5+ save against Mortal Wounds might be the best choice. Mark of Khorne gives him a 6" pileup, Nurgle a +1 to his Save, Tzeentch allows him to unbind a spell in each turn and Slaanesh gives -1 Bravery to opponents within 3" during Battleshock Phase. Ironically enough, the Manticore itself is actually less damaging than the Lord on it, but it does provide some nice special rules, such as rerolls of 1 To Hit against Monsters for its Claws and Jaws attacks and always rerolling when attacking units in your side of the field. His Command Ability allows a unit of Chaos Warriors within 15" to reroll charge, wound, and Battleshock rolls.

Chaos Sorcerer Lord: Yes. You owe it to yourself to at least check this guy out. While he is utter crap in combat, he is amazing at support. First, without even casting anything, he can grant one friendly unit per turn within 10" of him rerolls of 1 on their saves. Then, when he casts, he has a unique spell that provides rerolls of 1 To Hit, To Wound and to their saves for a friendly unit within 18". Just keep him away from the fighting and let him strengthen your front line.

Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Manticore: Blessed with the same awesome "reroll saves of 1" ability as the normal Lord, this here rides a Manticore, who is just as killy as the one the normal Lord gets. Additionally, the Sorcerer Lord gets the Wind of Chaos spell, which is potentially devastating (and potentially utter crap, hope the dice like you).

Troops[edit]

Battleline[edit]

Chaos Warriors: (Battleline)The same heavily armoured Vikings you know and love. Do you like the Liberators' bullshit profile but want to go a bit more Chaosy? Then these guys are what you are looking for. They have the exact same stats and their normal hand weapons are the exact same as the swords Liberators carry. Their other options include a halberd that is worse than the hand weapon but with better range. And a greatblade with the same stats as a Liberator hammer but with a -1 rend, however unlike them taking this will cost you your special shield. Their shields work a little differently as their shields give you a special save of 5+ against mortal wounds. Which while giving them greater durability against Mortal wounds than Liberators they have worse saves against regular damage attacks. Potential downside to them? They come in units of at least ten, meaning it can be harder to use them as cheap battleline choices. Can also take Marks, which has no effect whatsoever on their profile but gets them the corresponding keywords, which means they can be affected by God-specific special rules. If you want to be an asshole, use them in units of 20+, where they even gain a bonus to their saves, re-rolling 1s, though a smart opponent will try to shoot off a couple to negate the bonus. All in all, strong chaos rivals to liberators, while Liberators can be argued as a more balanced unit with an equal focus on attack and defense and also containing special weapons. Chaos Warriors are more offensively focused, they are less about holding the line than smashing through it. With their weapon options favouring frontal assualt more.

  • Take 20, give them halberds so you can attack in two ranks, mark them Khorne so a Bloodsecrator affects them. Enjoy your 60 attacks.
  • Take 20, give them shields, string them out in front of your army and run them forward. Don't worry about being charged: these guys are bait. Take the aforementioned Halberd Warriors and destroy whatever dumbass takes that bait.

Marauders: (Battleline) Piss-poor by comparison, but in big units, these guys can get scary, too. First, their shields simply increase their saves by 1, no ifs, no buts, which is actually pretty decent. They can choose between Flails and Axes, with the axes being slightly better on average. But if the dice gods are on your side (or you have a big enough hoard, which you probably will) the flails can have the higher damage output. They can also take a Damned Icon, which allows them to reroll To Hit rolls of 1, at which point the flails become slightly better. Instead of the Icon, they can take a Banner that increases their awful Bravery to 6, but make no mistake, they still run away screaming if something goes wrong. Basically, use them as you would Blood Reavers, except with a better save and arguably lower damage output: In large units and with lots of support. That way, they can get pretty impressive.

Marauder Horsemen:(Battleline in a Slaves to Darkness army) Marauders on horseback. They are in almost every way normal Marauders on mediocre horses. However, they can still take Javelins, which beat every other weapon the guys can have by simple virtue of being a missile weapon in addition to a close combat weapon. Considering this is a army that can be at a desperate lacking in ranged weaponry, it can be a good rule-of-thumb to include a few as good ranged harrasers. Feigned Charge allows for Mongolian-style hit and run tactics, as it allows the Marauders to shoot and charge even if they retreated. Meaning these guys can run circles around slower moving units while they gradually shoot them down before multi-charging them to death.

Chaos Knights:(Battleline in a Slaves to Darkness army) Chaos Warriors on pretty good horses. They aren't the bullshit they used to be, but they are still strong. They can either have the same weapon as a Warrior but with three attacks or they can take Glaives, which are exactly like a Liberator with a Warhammer, but gain a bonus to Rend and Damage if they charge.

Chaos Chariots:(Battleline in a Slaves to Darkness army) Pretty fast, since they always add D6" to their Move even without Running. Other than that, it's a chariot. Nice damage from the horses since they are the same the Knights are mounted on, weak Whip and either a reliably strong Greatblade or a less reliable but potentially stronger Flail. Also bonuses on the charge, but you knew that.

  • Modeling/strategy tip: You can assemble the bits in the Chaos Chariot box (it's also included in the Slaves to Darkness "Start collecting" box) either as a Chaos Chariot or a Gorebeast Chariot, but it's pretty easy to magnetize the horses/gorebeast so you can swap them and use each of the chariots as you see fit. If you suspect your next opponent will have many ranged units/artillery/wizards, put on the horses to use the faster Chaos Chariot; if your opponent has lots of melee units, use the more powerful Gorebeast Chariot (just be aware that it costs 100 points, while the Chaos Chariot is only 80. Or you can just stay fine using ye olde good "Counts as". Only do this if you like to magnetize your minis, or facing that guy who don't let you use the "Counts as", and then he will, most likely, complain about you magnetizing and shit).

Others[edit]

Chosen: Warriors with +1 Ld and armed with Great Weapons, which is basically a Protector's Halberd without the cool special rules. What's so special about Chosen, then? If they kill at least one model in combat, all other Slaves to Darkness reroll To Wound until the end of the phase. This is pretty devastating and nowhere does it say that multiple Chosen squads can't affect each other with this. So a good way to look at Chosen is as a potential buffing unit with high damage potential. Don't compare them to Paladins as they really don't like that. Get them into the thick of things and start killing to buff everyone up.

Gorebeast Chariots: Don't get the same movement rule as the normal Chaos Chariots but they have the absolutely devastating Gorebeast to make up for it. The beast is just that in combat and also grants you the nice rule the Skullcrushers get where you can potentially inflict Mortal Wounds on whatever you charge in the Charge Phase. How you can use that last fact to your advantage, well... coughBloabRotspawnedcough.

Chaos Warshrine: Yes, the Warshrine does not count as a War Machine. If you play with caps on Heroes, Monsters and War Machines, this is a huge advantage. What it does is pretty cool, too. First it has an Aura that grants Mortal units (almost everything Chaos that isn't a Skaven or a Daemon) an additional 6+ save after their normal save. Can also pray for buffs to Mortal units. There is one Undivided buff and one for every God, the latter of which you can only use by dedicating your Shrine to a particular God. The Undivided buff is the best by default, granting rerolls of 1 To Hit and To Wound. However, the God-specific buffs can be cast on whatever you want, but get better if you cast it on a unit of the same God. Favour of Nurgle, for example, allows to reroll 1s To Wound, but if the unit it's used on is Nurgle, you can instead reroll all failed To Wound rolls. And yes, this does mean a Shrine can bless units of rival Gods, just for shits and giggles. Also of note is the fact that this thing can easily hold its own in combat with a monster-like profile and a bunch of strong attacks. Awful Rend, yes, but they plow through low armour tarpits like nobody's business.

Chaos Spawn: That Which Must Not Be Named. Not actually terrible anymore, though far from reliable. A Move of 2D6" makes for potentially fast movement. Similarly, 2D6 attacks per Spawn is potentially strong, but even better is the special rule these attacks come with: If you roll a Double, instead of Hitting and Wounding on 4+, you Hit and Wound on 3+. Just think about it, 12 attacks apiece with good Hit and Wound rolls... Also, five Wounds with a 5+ save make for pretty hardy models.

Furies: Their back and reworked. acting like a swarm of more effective harpies, they can also flee instead of attacking to sling shoot off the enemy to grab objectives.

Raptoryx: replacing warhounds, they move fast and deal allot of attacks on the charge.

Cultists[edit]

Warcry Warbands can be used in-game; unlike Underworld, they are not one-offs and can be massed up. They all are comparable to Chaos Marauders but you pay slightly more for additional ability, can't take god marks, and they are not battleline. More likely to show up in lists with knight and chariot battleline and then taking Cultists to boost up the numbers and do a particular job. If you’re making a narrative list that comes from a specific realm, definitely consider bringing one of these groups.

  • Untamed Beasts: From Ghur, Marauders but faster, able to vanguard 6", run and charge. They can also designate one out of 9 models to have a relatively hard-hitting spear and another as a two wound sponge.
  • Iron Golems: From Chamon, Marauders but with heavier armor and Bolas. They get Bravery 8, and one out of 8 models has 3 wounds and can reroll armour saves if they didn't take a normal move that turn.
  • Cypher Lords:' From Hysh, Marauders but with throwing weapons. When in melee they can reduce the enemies' hit roll by 1 until your next hero phase on a 4+.
  • The Unmade: from Shyish. Marauders but with a big with a heavy weapon, and lower enemy bravery while preventing them from retreating. They die quickly in melee so pair them up with something killy while the Unmade hold them in place.
  • Splintered Fang: From Ghyran. Marauders but attacks deal mortal wounds on hits of 6(not make a wound or save roll) and have a resurrecting wound sponge.
  • Corvus Cabal: From Ulgu. Marauders but can pseudo-Fly. use to run over obstacles, straight towards the objectives.

Behemoth[edit]

Chaos War Mammoth: This monster has 22 wounds! Although it's only packing a 5+ save. All of his attacks cause at least D3 wounds, making it an exceptional monster-killer when at full strength. Its real strength lies in supporting a Marauder charge, however - as well as imposing -2 to any Battleshock tests to any unfortunate unit that gets charged, the Mammoth can also help Marauder or Marauder Horsemen get in a little extra movement and increase their damage output in combat. Wounding and even killing this thing just makes it cause more damage. If you're playing with a big Chaos horde then there's no finer feeling than running this guy into the enemy's biggest and toughest-looking infantry blob, although expect a few dirty looks for doing so. Keep in mind that he doesn't like magic missiles or war machine fire, however.

CURS’D ETTIN: (Forgeworld) A two-headed monstrosity. Its fists can do plenty of damage and heal if it kills something, has plenty of stomp attacks. it has an attack similar to Banshees that effect every enemy unit within 3" and deals D3 Mortal wounds if you beat its leadership on a 2d6. it also has an ability to kill a single model with less than 3 wounds on a 6+ giving you the of a chance to kill a pesky leader, Special weapon or Musician.

Battalions[edit]

  • Godsworn Champions of Ruin: A Daemon Prince, Lord of Chaos or Sorcerer Lord (either on foot or on a Manticore) takes 3 to 8 units between Warriors, Chosen, Knights, Exalted Heroes, Sorcerer Lords and Sp-those things. E̶v̶e̶r̶y̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶m̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶p̶i̶l̶e̶u̶p̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶t̶t̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶H̶e̶r̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶M̶o̶n̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶d̶u̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶H̶e̶r̶o̶ ̶P̶h̶a̶s̶e̶.̶ ̶Y̶e̶s̶,̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶.̶ ̶One unit within 3"of an enemy Hero or Monster can pileup and attack it during the Hero Phase.
  • Godswrath Warband: A Lord on Manticore takes 10+ units between Warriors, Chosen, Knights, Chariots and Gorebeast Chariots, plus any number of Warshrines. In each Hero Phase you can roll a number if dices equal to the number of units from the formation within 24" from the Warshrine, and for every 6+ you basically get an Arcane Bolt on any unit that can be seen from the Warshrine. Note that a unit can't be hit twice in the same turn by this unit, meaning that if there are no more enemy units in the line of sight and still have some Bolts to throw, you must wound your own units.
  • Ruinbringer Warband: A Lord on Daemonic Mount takes 5+ units between Knights, Marauder Horsemen, Chariots and Gorebeast Chariots. Once per game, every unit in the formation can charge during Hero Phase dealing d3 mortal wounds on enemy units reached (d6 if 10+ models are touching the unit).
  • The Infernal Tetrarchy: One daemon prince of each of the four gods join together.

Allied Armies[edit]

  • Beasts of Chaos
  • Everchosen
  • Blades of Khorne
  • Maggotkin of Nurgle
  • Hedonites of Slaanesh
  • Disciples of Tzeentch

Mercenary Companies[edit]

  • Blacksmoke Battery: Chaos Dorfs with artillery but not really Chaos Dorfs.
  • Greyfyrd:
  • Grugg Brothers:
  • Gutstuffers:
  • Nimyard’s Rough-Riders:
  • Order of the Blood-Drenched Rose:
  • Rampagers:
  • Skroug’s Menagerie:
  • Sons of the Lichemaster:
  • Tenebrous Court:


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