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Default An Introduction to the Armies of Warhammer (updates wanted)

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ARMIES OF WARHAMMER


This thread is here to give a good introduction to the armies of warhammer fantasy battle (although many are out of date- they are in the process of being updated).

more will be written here soon.

Contents

Beastmen
Chaos Dwarfs
Daemons of Chaos
Dark Elves
Dogs of War
Dwarfs
The Empire
High Elves
Lizardmen
Ogre Kingdoms
Orcs and Goblins
Skaven
Tomb Kings
Vampire Counts
Warriors of Chaos
Wood Elves


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Dwarves
Written by Othiem



Fluff
The Dwarves are an ancient race with long memories. They fought against the coming of chaos before men were even organized into tribes. Although allied with the High Elves for a time, the Dark Elves engineered a war between Dwarves and Elves which resulted in a pyrrhic victory for the Dwarves. This was followed by a giant earthquake which devestated the Dwarven mountain holds, unleashing hordes of goblins and skaven into Dwarf lands. The dwarves make a point of holding grudges against all who have wronged them, writing these down in books to be repaid at a later date.

They maintain strong ties to the men of the Empire who helped them in the past, even though men barely remember this. They stand in conflict with Orcs, Goblins, and Skaven who have taken over much of their historical lands. And they maintain an uneasy truce with the elves, who they will not forgive for the war between the two races.


Models
How much you enjoy painting a dwarf army depends on one thing: how do you feel about beards? The defining characteristic of all dwarf models, some love them, some hate them. A dwarf army has the potential to look fairly boring, being just variation on several short guys in shiny armor with beards. However, since dwarves are known not for fighting in a standing army with identical uniforms and equipment, but instead going to war with their own armor and family heirlooms, there is a great deal of potential for adding diversity to blocks of troops though conversions and a variety of color schemes.

While dwarven core troops are all in plastic, their elite infantry units are still metals. Also several of their war machines are still in metal as well. This can potentially drive up the cost of a heavy infantry dwarf army. But since dwarves share visual similarities between each other, conversions from standard plastic core dwarf warriors into elite hammerer and ironbreaker units are not too difficult.

A nice plastic lord/bsb kit exists, however all other characters are still in metal.

The ragtag nature of dwarven troops and technolgy, and usefulness of the core dwarf warrior body in modeling almost any dwarf makes them a very customizable army for somebody who is good with a razor blade.


Gameplay
Dwarves are some of the toughest troops in the whole of warhammer. The bog standard dwarf warrior is beat out only by a chaos warrior, and comes in at a much lower point cost. With leadership 9 across the board as well, dwarf warriors form a highly reliable wall of steel, even when far from the support of their general and bsb. Their warmachine crews, who benefit from stubborness, are capable of fighting off light cavalry assaults.

Where the dwarves differ from every other army is their lack of movement. With no cavalry and only a single rare flyer unit, your entire army is stuck at movement 3". This is somewhat offset since dwarves are allowed to march a full 6" even when in proximity of the enemy, making them immune to marchblocking. That said, the dwarven movement phase is still quite involved, focusing less on trying to get the charge, and more on controlling which one of your units the enemy will charge. This can cause difficulties for elite blocks of troops and expensive dwarven lords, as most enemies will try to avoid these blocks.

The other area in which Dwarves are unique is their use of runes. Instead of a list of magical items, dwarves have access to a massive variety of runes. Each piece of a character's equipment may be inscribed with up to 3 of these runes, resulting in an amazing amount of customizability. Dwarven warmachines and magical banners may also be runed.

Dwarves are the only race in warhammer to wholesale reject the notion of magic. They make up for this by getting extra dispell dice for free, and a variety of powerful anti-magic runes.

Dwarves are the strongest shooting army in the game, with rune enhanced warmachines and the most accurate handguns. Players looking to play a gunline list traditionally look to the dwarves. Often such pure shooting armies are frowned upon as being less fun to play for both parties, and on the dwarf end a gunline will quickly fold if your opponent does make it across the field. That being said, a strong shooting phase is vital to any Dwarf list. A dwarf army needs to drive the enemy into CC with their slower moving troops, or they run the risk of being run in circles all game.

Dwarfs offer a variety of elite CC troops to support their core warriors. Ironbreakers, slayers, hammerers, and miners all play very differently roles, and allow you to customize a CC based force.


Money Saving
Cheap flying machine:
Get your hands on one of the new plastic Defkoptas from the AoBR set. Whittle out the built in orc body, glue in a dwarf warrior. I tried to use some green stuff to give him goggles. Cut out the rockets and replace with something cylindrical for use as a steam gun, for example one of the big straws you get with boba tea.

Cheap longbeards:
Never ever buy the metal longbeards. Make a point of not paining any of your dwarf warriors beards white, then paint your whole longbeard unit with white beards. You can also make them look wealthier by comparison, giving the standard warriors more bronze trimming, and saving gold for the longbeards.

Summary
The dwarves are a fairly limited army, who basically do not participate in either the movement or magic phases of the game. In the shooting and CC phase though, they are one of the most varied and customizable armies, with both diverse troop types and runes to personalize units.

A Dwarf army runs the range from dirt cheap to one of the most expensive in the game. High point cost plastic core troops and warmachines maxed out with expensive runes can quickly take a low model count of plastics to the 1500 point and beyond. However as one looks to expand, the large variety of metals which should be fielded in large blocks get expensive fast.

Their toughness and reliability make dwarves a very forgiving army that's good for a beginner, yet they can expand into a strong and diverse CC force for a more experienced player. For those who enjoy showing up to the LGS with their beard and a case of beer, the dwarves are the only logical choice.

Where to go from here
http://www.bugmansbrewer.com
Games Workshop's Page


Last edited by squeek; 12-05-08 at 09:25 AM.
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Orcs and Goblins
Written by squeek



Fluff

Orcs are a brutal warlike race that are driven by their need for war, so much so that they are just as likely to fight each other as they are to fight other races. Orcs and Goblins are known collectively as Greenskins and are a collection of subspecies that range from the fearsomely brutal Black Orc to the diminutive Snotling that is often kept as a pet by larger Greenskins.

Orcs and Goblins gather together in warbands that are lead by the most powerful Greenskin amongst them, until their leadership is successfully challenged by an even larger Greenskin. Most warbands are nomadic and wander to and fro destroying whatever they come across. However, when a warlord is sufficiently powerful and is able to gather enough Greenskins to their call, a Waaagh! is called. A Waaagh! is an enormous tide of Greenskins that surges across the land rampaging through any settlements it finds until it is eventually defeated. Other races rightly fear the Waaagh! and there are numerous occaisions throughout the history of the Old World when the might of the Greenskins has made itself felt on the other races.


Models

A large part of the core Orc and Goblin range is made up of multipart plastic models and there is a good deal of customisation possible because of this, however there is still a significant number of models only available in metal which can make certain army builds expensive Particularly since any Orc and Goblin army is likely to contain a lot more models than other armies, due to the relative cheapness of Orc and Goblin models in terms of points.

There is a lot of modelling potential with an Orc and Goblin army, the rag tag look of Orcs and Goblins greatly encourages conversions, anything from minor weapon swaps to large scale Greenstuff work is possible and is easy to blend in with the rest of the Orc and Goblin rabble. Orcs and Goblins can be tedious to paint and convert as most units are at least 20 models strong, however the paint schemes on most of the range can be kept relatively simple and it is not too difficult to produce a good looking unit.

The average Orc and Goblin army is likely to relatively cheap model for model due to the large number of plastic box sets available, but the low point cost of Orc and Goblin models will mean that more models are required for the same number of points as an equivalent army.


Gameplay

The base stats of the majority of the Orc and Goblin range are usually relatively poor, however this is compensated for by the cheap points cost. The overriding concern for an Orc and Goblin general is psychology. The leadership of the majority of the range is between 5 and 7 so tests are more likely to be failed than passed. This is further exacerbated by the race specific rule, Animosity. All Greenskins apart from Black Orcs are required to test for Animosity at the beginning of each turn; this often results in units doing things they aren't supposed to be doing.

An Orc and Goblin general needs a good sense of humour as even the best tactics and army list can be thwarted by the erratic nature of Orcs and Goblins. However it is still quite possible to dominate a game and utterly destroy your opponent, just don't expect your army to go along with your plans!

A common theme amongst Orc and Goblin armies is large blocks of cheap infantry led by more reliable characters. The army can be supported by surprisingly reliable Spear Chukkas and Doom Divers, and flanked by a range of cavalry from fast moving Goblin Wolf Riders to powerful Orc Boar Boys.

Orc and Goblin magic is powerful but dangerous. Split in to two halves, the Orc Big Waaagh! and Goblin Little Waaagh!, there are a range of support spells and offensive spells, most of which are reasonably useful spells. The problem with Orc and Goblin magic is that the Waaagh! miscast table is potentially very dangerous to your own army with the possibility of exploding shamans a real threat. However this doesn't prevent magic heavy Orc and Goblin armies from being effective. Due to the nature of Orc and Goblin armies the decision to take Shamans over Bosses is not simple as the leadership of Shamans is not as good and they are fragile characters.


Money Saving

Orcs and Goblins are generally cheap compared to other army ranges however some models (particularly metals) can be expensive; even some of the plastic models can benefit from a few alterations to minimise the cost. Orc Arrer Boys are currently only available direct in metal, however the 6th Edition box set contained plastic Orc Arrer Boys that are often for sale cheaply on internet auction sites, and it is fairly simple to add a bow to the plastic Orc Warrior models.

Savage Orcs, particularly when mounted on boars can be prohibitively expensive, however with a bit of creativity it is possible to model and paint regular Orcs as Savage Orcs allowing a much cheaper plastic Savage Orc. With Greenstuff it is quite possible to cover up armour and model extremely good Savage Orcs, but the addition of feathers, making the weapons more rugged, and more wild poses all help to give the Savage look.

The Orc Warboss box comes with enough parts to create one mounted and one unmounted Orc warboss however with an extra plastic Boar and the plastic mounted legs from the Orc Warrior Command sprue it is possible to have both Orcs mounted.

Summary

An Orc and Goblin army allows for a lot of diversity, indeed it is quite possible to take all Goblin or all Night Goblin themed lists, however these lists tend to magnify the problems of the Orc and Goblin army as they are particularly prone to mass routs due to their low leadership.

The Orc and Goblin range is let down somewhat by Savage Orcs and all Boar Boys only being available in metal, making hard hitting units an expensive choice. However plastic Savage Orcs are rumoured to be on the list of new models coming in the future. This is also offset by the Night Goblins available in the starter set. These are extremely cheap and allow a good (if relatively cowardly) core to start an Orc and Goblin Warband.

If you don't mind losing as often as you win, but having fun along the way then Orcs and Goblins are an enjoyable army that allows for a lot of flexibility with approach to gaming, painting and modelling.

Where to go from here

There are a number of Orc and Goblin sites that are useful to a budding warlord, two particularly useful sites are Avian's We Iz Orcs, an indepth rundown of all the sections of the Orc and Goblin armybook by an avid Orc and Goblin player; and Da Warpath, an Orc and Goblin fansite that is home to some particularly inventive modellers and painters, though rather small the site has some eye opening posts.


Last edited by squeek; 12-05-08 at 09:28 AM.
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THE DARK ELVES
Written by Druchii in Space



Fluff: 'The Druchii'
The Dark Elves are located in the north-western corner of the Warhammer world as far as the realms of men are concerned. Across the Great Ocean lies the Land of Chill Naggaroth; homeland of the Dark Elves or Druchii as they call themselves. For centuries the Druchii have endured within the Land of Chill and much like their new homeland over these centuries their hearts have turned to ice.
The Dark Elves are bitter, spiteful and find few joys outside the dominance of others. Murder, torture are mere playthings for the Druchii mind and they are firmly of the belief that they are above all other races. Betrayal can be common place, and no Druchii would give a second thought to killing a rival or removing someone in their way on the rise to power. As to Malekith, the ruler of the Dark Elves the Immortal Witch King sealed within his suit of armour, his eyes watch Ulthuan with a hatred above all of his kin. He has no doubt that he shall retake the lands that should be his, and with his ever present mother, the Hag Sorceress Queen Morathi, they plan their vengeance against the weakling Asur or the High Elves as they are known to man.

The Dark Elves have a society where all menial tasks are completed by slaves, be it those Druchii who have failed in their duty or the legions of mortals from lesser realms. A high percentage of the feared Druchii raids on city sized Black Arks that strike across the known world is to collect slaves, riches and food to maintain the lives of the Druchii nobility. People brought to the Land of Chill are broken beyond recognition, and serve their new masters as little more than mortal shells who daren't even dream of escape for what little time is left of their lives. With the lower tasks taken care of, the Druchii spend their long lives sharpening their skill with the blade, and using their wits to further their careers under the banner of the Witch King. While they take without thought or concern for the world, in Naggaroth the cities are ruled by Iron fists, with great Noble families demanding the respect of the other Druchii. In Naggarond no one dares whisper against the Witch King as he knows all that occurs within his realm. While in the infamous Har Ganeth Hellebron rules the cult of Khaine, her Witch Elves stalking the streets to sacrifice any they can find to the god of Murder on the yearly celebration of Death Night. They are a cruel people, forever it seems trapped within a cruel land they cannot escape. Their hatred burning bright, they travel the world bringing countless misery and grief to all they encounter.


Models
Many voice that the Dark Elves have one of the most consistently great looking figure lines in Warhammer and have done for a long time. Many of the current metal elites where sculpted by the excellent Chris Fitzpatrick before he left the company a few years ago and still look really good today. However as one of the more recent armies to get an update, and due to the split release schedule now employed by GW, they are currently weak in the Plastics department when compared to some of the other Fantasy armies.
They do have a few plastic boxes though; I just feel they are lacking one or two more especially for conversion opportunities. The current Plastics are the Dark Elf Warriors box (16 models,) The Corsairs Box (10 models,) and the Cold One Knights box (5models.) The rest of the range is metal and even though their are generally more expensive pts wise than say a Empire army so you would need less overall troops, they are quite a bit dearer at the moment than their cousins to collect.
So overall a Dark Elf army can be quite reasonable price wise depending on what you start with, however with the hydra and two large monster mounts easy to field even at 2000pts, it isn’t in the cheapest to collect category, and we are let down slightly by the amount of our elites that are metal.

The models themselves in general are quite easy to put together, although I should note both the Black Guard and Executioners can be a little fiddly due to the weapons you need to attach to the figures. The Executioners especially as the metal blade has a tiny hole to be glued into and there is little if any room in the blade for pinning. It makes them slightly more delicate than your average figure and they do very poorly in any kind of fall.

As regards to painting, I find them elegant figures and take to the general Druchii theme of dark colours very well. Due to the amount of metal figures however there is a lot of detail to contend with, but to be honest no more than many other armies, just take your time and pick out all the details you can.
Common colours for Druchii include black, purple, dark red, and dark to midnight blue, dark metal colours and Gold. Good highlight colours are silver, red, light purple and shadow grey. I would say that if you pick this army and obviously get yourself the army book, the pages devoted to the painted figures section is very good, and show a great number of contrasting colours you could use for your force, much more so than previous Druchii army books.


Game play
Dark Elves like all Elf armies have a weakness in the fact they are fragile, with most of standard troops and characters of the army at Toughness 3. However they more than make up for this via their Magic, Monsters and Elite units. On top of this they have the Elven counter balance to the low toughness, the precious movement of 5. This fragile factor and the elite nature of the force and tactics employed have made many mark them as an army unfriendly to beginners. There might be some truth in that, but I would say to a beginner any Warhammer army is going to be difficult to use. One of the main things I will advise any Druchii budding general is to keep your mind on the prize. Try to avoid silly mistakes like not declaring a charge, moving in way to close when you have the distance advantage or really crazy things like forgetting the magic phase. Yep, sadly in my early years of gaming I've done that one, its fatal, but it does teach you to not do it again.
Also remember to use your movement to your advantage, you can get that just a little closer to most other races without fear of a charge, you can dictate when and where the key fights will happen, this a key thing to utilize as a Druchii General. Other things would be that the shooting phase and magic phases are important to us, and do not let your opponent dictate the pace of the game. Slow his units down, out shoot them and then combine on charges to bring your foe to his/her knees, it is after all the Druchii way.
I believe I also need to mention Hatred. It is a nice advantage but be aware of its down side, you must always pursue a enemy that flees and if you wipe out an enemy unit on the charge you must overrun so be aware of where you unit might go if its likely you will wipe them out in that first round. Basically if it’s going leave your prize unit in front of three enemy units it might be a short term gain for a long time loss. Try to be careful when and where you charge, a cunning opponent may place a unit knowing you will beat it easy just to force your unit to chase it out of position.

Now I'm going to take a little look at the units, just to give some general game play tips for each.

I think the first advice I would give regarding units is our firepower, both Repeater crossbows and Reaper Bolt Throwers lay down impressive rates of fire. The former is especially useful against other Elves, Humans and standard undead units as it has at least an evens chance of wounding most of the time. Although I would still probably take one squad of them for tougher armies, just to oppose any opponent flanking units which tend to be weaker. I should also note that I've happily out shot Wood Elves in battles, especially with Glade Guard needing to get within fifteen inches to be at their best, never underestimate our ability to let down a rain of death.
With Reapers I believe these are almost an automatic choice in our army, in games of 1000pts I'd advise one Reaper, at 1500 two and 2000pts or higher at least two with the Hydra. They can decimate foes units so easily it will make them a hated unit for most of your regular opponents. Combine those two with our Dark Magic and Dark Elves can out shoot or at least equal a lot of their opponents, allowing you to whittle down units until the right moment for your elites comes to strike. This combined with our movement should mean few units reach our lines intact.

Warriors are now silly cheap, dropping 2pts from the previous book for no change in gear or stat line and anyone building an army for tactical ability over fluff, cannot afford not to take one or two units of these guys and gals. For the pts you pay, you will have Empire Generals glancing over looking at the stat line and equipment and spitting teeth at you.

Corsairs are a cheap but useful offensive close combat unit; I'd tend to suggest using them to support a forward movement with elites or a large Warrior unit. Due to their added bonus against shooting attacks I would also recommend hiding any Sorceress on foot within a Corsair unit.

Harpies overlooked by many are tactically lethal with that cheap pts cost. Their ability to fly does several great things for you, great march blockers, wizard hunting, War machine hunting, screening troops and a general distraction for your opponent. Their cost though means unlike Dark Riders who many use in this role, they are pretty much throw away troops, and while your opponent is worried about them or being hampered by them, you main elites and monsters are closing in.

Dark Riders are still a tactically sound unit in any army however, arming them with repeater Crossbows allows you to harass your enemy and potentially kill an enemy wizard on their own without even needing to charge. You can also use them to protect a mounted Sorceress, or add a noble to make a surprisingly (for your opponents) tough flanking unit on the charge. They are still or course good march blockers, and thanks to their ranged abilities can deal with most enemy flankers on their own which is a huge advantage.

Cold One Knights are now really impressive. They gained a strength so their lances hit on a strength 6 making them much more deadly. They still have a 2+ save and one of the best supporting mounts for damage in the game, but have the added bonus of a banner that effectively lets you make a turn where you are not going to fail an important Stupidity check when you need a charge. Add to this the Dread Knight being able take a magic item which includes either a lance with killing blow, or a item to make the unit Immune to Psychology, they are just nasty.

Black Guard are pretty evil too with their improvements with the new book. Eternal Hatred every round thanks to Warrior Elite is really good, but they also gained an attack, became immune to psychology to go alongside their Stubborn ability, plus the unit leader can now take a 25pt magic item which is a additional useful bonus. Overall an excellent unit and with a noble on foot or the battle standard bearer can make a solid rock in your lines.

Witch Elves unleash a horrifying amount of attacks but are really weak against missile fire, basically leave these girls at home if you are facing a Dwarf gun line, but against the close combat themed armies such as Warriors of Chaos, Daemons and so on they are excellent, especially with some of their Khaine items and a Banner of murder. I would probably still take them against most foes if I'm honest as even if they are targeted by ranged attacks, that means other things are marching unhindered and due to the frenzy they will need to be fully wiped out, no need to worry about panic. Just be careful that their frenzy isn't used against them by your opponent’s cheap flanking scouting units to pull them out of position. Oh and due to the glorious return (I'd been moaning long enough) of Witch Elf Heroes, consider in larger pts games chucking one of these divas in the unit to cause even more carnage.

Executioners are now stronger thus hit at strength six, and they have killing blow which makes them an excellent unit to charge highly armoured foes with, however I still feel they are still our weakest option in Special, and would only consider them in large pts games.

The Cold one Chariot is a useful unit and like with the Cold One Knights now has a Ld of 9 to try and avoid failing to many stupidity checks. They hit hard and are quite quick, put a noble on there and they can really cause some damage, a joint Hydra, Noble mounted Chariot charge is a sight to behold.

Shades are still useful as a march blocker, being able to take Great weapons was an interesting advantage and in a wood they can be down right annoying. However at the moment I feel both the Harpies and Dark Riders perform the job better than they do for the pts. So I wouldn't take them myself unless the game was 2000pts or greater and only then against certain opponents such as those with a lot of War Machines or stand back units, where being a lot closer at the beginning would be a great advantage.

The Hydra was hard in the previous book, but a few more updates to this unit has made it very tough indeed. To be honest the only thing stopping it being an automatic choice is its location in rare, as Reaper Bolt Throwers are so damned useful. I think this will have to come down to personal choice, if you love the Hydra in games under 2000pts, take one, if you want the ranged ability take the Reapers. Although I would advise anyone once you get the second rare pick at 2000pts, to take them both.

Of our Heroes I think this comes down to personal choice, all have their uses depending on pts limit opponent etc, but I would advise anyone to take at least one Sorceress. With the new ability to earn more power dice via that spell and nifty items like the sacrificial dagger. One Sorceress can be quite a handful, two or more and your foes will be pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to stop the raw power they possess. We can dictate the game to most of our opponents via the Magic phase, I advise all Druchii generals to learn to love magic, its one of our favoured weapons.

I should make a special note for the Assassins. Now no longer a hero choice, they are expensive but deadly. Once you hit certain threshold in pts I'd almost say these fellows are an automatic choice, the higher your pts the more I would have. They can hide in units till the perfect opportunity arises to unleash them against you foe, most likely when an enemy character has charged the squad. Although if the squad should get caught by enemy troops before you are ready, they can make an awful mess of most units, elite or otherwise and may swing they fight for you. Just be careful your opponent isn't sending in flankers or a cheap unit to flush the assassin out before deciding to charge the unit with his General or another hero, In such a case waiting and not revealing the assassin especially if you think you can win the combat comfortably without his aid, might just give your opponent the shock of his/her life.


Money Saving
Well at the moment the only really good way to save money is by employing bulk units of Warriors, repeater Crossbowmen and Corsairs, due to their availability in plastic. On a side note Warriors are particularly useful at the moment due to their new pts cost making them a very attractive unit on the field as well as being cheaper to purchase overall.
Possibly another option would be to combine Corsair and Cold One Knight plastics to make cheaper Heroes on foot, or a Cold One mounted Master.


Summary
The Dark Elf army is a fairly strong list, it allows for a fairly fluffy options while still being competitive. You can happily theme a force around one of the city states, such as Har Ganeth by taking warrior units, repeating crossbows, Dark Riders with Executioners, Witch Elves, Shades, Cold One Knights and Reaper Bolt Throwers and still be a very nice themed force. You could also opt for a Black Ark raiding force by taking lots of corsairs and Naggarond by having plenty of Black Guard. We have some really great magic items and the Khaine item list as well, all making putting a Dark Elf force together a lot of fun.

It can be a hard army to learn, but once mastered it’s always been one of the toughest armies for an opponent to face. We have some of the best magic in the game, combined with good ranged ability and close combat units that can match up with most other elites in the game. The key thing to remember is we do most of our best stuff on the charge, it is the reason that many Druchii generals agree one of our toughest foes ironically is the slowest as Dwarves are the total anti to our force, working completely from a defensive position.

So what are you waiting for, raise the banner of the Witch King and conquer the known world.


Where to go next
Well there is only one site I would link to, and to any Druchii fan it is worthy of a mention as it has a very large Druchii player base. Some might remember they helped GW implement a White Dwarf update for the previous book after proving it was seriously under powered.
I speak of course of druchii.net
They have some great tactics pages over there and more detailed guides than this one, a great site for any Druchii fan.


Last edited by squeek; 12-05-08 at 09:32 AM.
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Daemons of Chaos
Written by MaidenManiac



Fluff
The hordes of Daemons first started pouring into the Old World when the Old Ones polar gates collapsed for unknown reasons. This marked the disappearance of the Old Ones and the coming of the Daemons, the Daemons pouring into the world to wage a terribly costly war on(mostly) the Lizardmen whom at the time ruled the world, and had been the Old Ones subordinates. This war was at first not very effective but as time passed on the Daemons gained more and more ground. It was at this time that the wind of magic got corrupted by the forces of chaos, and the war turned more and more to the Daemons favour. Countless of Slanns became victims of the new wild magic that from that time on have been the winds of magic. After a cunning magical teleport of scores of Flesh hounds by Kairos Fateweaver at the siege of Xahutec the first of the temple cities fell to the Daemons, and many more came to share that fate in a war that lasted centuries. In the end the Daemons had broken the once proud Lizardmen empire into fragments of its former glory.
The Dwarves got assailed in their mountain homes by untold numbers of Daemonic forces. Dwarves however were not, as they've never been, depending on the now wild magic of the old world to wage war, as they bind their magic in powerful runes of protection and destruction. This meant that dwarves fought Daemons more on equal terms, but the relentlessness of the Daemonic forces took its toll on the stubborn Dwarves. Slowly, one by one, their fortress homes fell to the Daemonic onslaught, lost to history. As the Daemons marched upon Karaz-a-Karak, the everpeak, they however met no resistance. The outer gates were undefended, taking this as a sign that the enemy had broken the Daemons swept into the caverns surrounding Everpeak. This was when the Dwarves played out their final card. They collapsed the mountains on the Daemonic horde, destroying it utterly, and then stayed safe behind the walls of Karaz-a-Karak for many years until the world outside were safe again.
The High Elves on Ulthuan suffered the same fate and fought a desperate battle to survive against the Daemonic hordes. The Elves came, after decades of long and bloody fights up with a plan to stop the Daemons. Their greatest mage Caledor ventured to the Isle of the Dead to cast a ritual to revert the flow of magic from the polar gates. During the desperate fight to keep the ritual safe the greatest High Elf hero ever, the first Phoenix king Aenarion was slain, and Caledor and the mages assisting him in his great ritual was forever trapped inside it. Their sacrifice halted the Daemonic tide thou, and saved the Old World from disaster.
Ever since has Daemons invaded the world when the power of Chaos waxed in the Old World, and at some point to come it will mark the final doom of the Old World.

Models
Daemons of Chaos are more or less a metal model army. With the release of the Doc list there came out the first two plastic sets of daemons GW's ever produced. Bloodletters and Daemonettes, and rumours are that when the second line of Daemons gets their release there will be Plaguebearers and Horrors too. A plastic Daemon Prince is also on the way and most likely new Seekers of Slaanesh, but that's most likely where the plastic part of the army stops. All units in the army are from either 6th ed or 7th, some units got redone for the new release of the Doc list but far from all. The models are however all of them up to standard and will fit nicely into armies.
However, Daemons are missing quite a few models for units at the moment. Daemonic chariots has never been produced by GW, seekers are withdrawn(most likely to be re-released to fit with 7th ed Daemonettes) and with the exception of Special Characters there are no Herald models at all. What of this that will be included in the forthcoming 2nd wave of DoC releases remains to be seen.

Gameplay
Daemons offer a lot more options to the game then one might think. The four Gods and their units available are very different from each other. While on the subject: 40k players should beware, the stat differences for Daemons in 40k and WHFB are huge, after seeing the differences you will most likely want to swap stats on everything from that time on...
Daemons of Chaos are a very customizable list that can change looks vastly from game to game. The army is very reliable, all units have magical attacks, have invulnerable saves, are Immune to Psychology, cause fear and Daemons don't run from combats like normal mortal units do – instead they suffer more wounds the more they failed their instability test. This gives you a tactically better overview on the game then you have with an army that can set of packing from a few bad dice rolls. The only real side of the game that Daemons of Chaos cant play is the shooty one. Barring Flamers and a Daemonic Gift the list lack shooting capabilities. Magic can make up for some of it, but not all.
Unlike mortals(WoC), beasts(BoC) or certain 40 Daemon/CSMlists playing mono god lists with Daemons will not work very well. It will work ofcrourse, but you will seriously gimp yourself by sticking to one God only. Daemons are meant to support each other. Whilst Furies are available to all Gods you will find yourself lacking in some area if you do this. All gods and their units have their own strengths and weaknesses. Be it combat, magic, resilience or speed you can always count on that another Gods minions have the solution for you.


Lords and Heroes
Bloodthirsters are the lest subtle of the four Greater Daemons there are to pick from, their only purpose is close combat at which they really excel.
Keepers of Secrets are lightning quick monsters whom can goad enemies to attack them, be feared magicians, or even regain wounds by swallowing enemy spirits as they kill models in combat.
Great Unclean Ones are tough as nails, and can as their Slaaneshi counterpart become feared magicians. Wile not as ”killy” on first glance as the other 3 they can become an everlasting monster with regeneration and their starting 10 wounds.
Lords of Change are a bit more subtle, excellent magicians that weave multicoloured blasts of daemonfire upon enemies, many times behind them thanks to their feathery wings.
Daemon Princes are the 5th lords available to the army. Albeit not as powerful as a Greater Daemon they are non the less fierce fighters capable of causing havoc in the opponents lines. Daemon Princes greatest strength are however their much cheaper price then their bigger counterparts.

Heralds also differ depending on which god one bought them for. Daemonic Heralds are the only models that can ride in Daemonic chariots, that will however remove one of their biggest uses. A Herald that joins certain units of its own gods units will bestow some improvement on the unit like regeneration, hatred or so on.
Tzeentchian heralds are always lvl 2 wizards while Slaaneshi ones and Nurgle ones can be upgraded to lvl 1s.
If you consider including a Battle Standard bearer this will be a Herald of one chosen god, which gives you access to more expensive banners and also make your daemonic instability tests more reliable.

Core units
In WHFB you have 5 different core units to build the base of your army around.
Bloodletters are as fast as elves, have high S and WS and the killing blow special rule making them very handy for killing hard armoured troops like cavalry and such.
Daemonettes are competing about being the fastest man-sized infantry in the game, sport high WS but rely on their many armour piercing attacks instead when fighting armoured targets.
Plaguebearers are slower then the two mentioned above but have a huge staying power thanks to higher T, they also have poisoned attacks which gives them the possibility of wounding nearly anything in the game.
Horrors are magic using units. The bigger the unit is the higher magic level it has and it casts spells like a normal Tzeentchian wizard. Combat wise they equal normal empire troopers.
Furies are the 5th available core unit, however they do not count towards the minimum required to take to fill your core slots. Furies are cheap flyers that are excellent warmachine hunters, however if they lose out they diminish extremely fast due to their abysmally low LD.

Special units
Flesh Hounds are(compared to 40k) really dangerous. Fast with high WS, S, and extreme magical resistance they are rightfully feared.
Seekers of Slaanesh are the fastest Fast Cavalry in the game. They rely, just like their footslogging kin on their many high WS armour piercing attacks to kill the opponents.
Nurglings(Yes! Bet you didn't see that one coming ) are the special unit of Grandfather Nurgle. They, like their troop kindreds, sport poisoned attacks, are skirmishers and also scouts which lets them deploy further onto the field of battle.
Screamers are they sky sharks of Tzeentch fly over enemies, flailing with their tails and thereby causing hits on units they fly over if they don't charge things.

Rare units
Bloodcrushers are Khornes shock cavalry Fast like normal heavy cavalry these units are much harder then their foot walking kindreds of the Khornate ranks. Many high WS, S killing blow attacks each makes them deadly to all opponents.
Fiends of Slaanesh are, just like seekers, insanely fast units that excels on hunting down enemy units from combats thanks to their abilities of rolling 1 more die and discarding the lowest one.
Beasts of Nurgle are hard as (s)nails with high T and regeneration. Their random attacks can be a big blessing thanks to their poisoned attacks rule, and they ignore the negative effects of being charged in their flanks or rear.
Flamers of Tzeentch are pyrocasters. Fast like Daemonettes these Tzeentchian Daemons hurls multiple blasts of multicoloured daemonfire on their targets, and should the enemy make it into combat with them they will not prove as weak as they might seem.

Money saving
Eerm, no not really. There are 2 plastic regiments to pick from, they will be a few more when the 2nd wave of Daemons gets released but up till then the only real way of saving money is 2nd hand buying. Except for those 2(atm) plastic units you are looking at an army in metal. Almost no unit really look like another either so its hard to convert your own models to make up for the current lack of plastics. The army is also missing quite a few options available to the list as models which will force conversions if you want to be able to field everything. The good side of that is that all models are metal so stripping them of paint is really easy.

Summary
Daemons are a psychologically stable army of elitesque units that can be made to fit more game styles then it appears like at first glance. Magic(mainly Tzeentch) and combat(Khorne and Slaanesh) are areas that the army easily can be made to excel at, and give the hardest opponents on those fields a tough match. Its also an army that will require assembling of lots and lots of metal models and crave conversions to fill up ”blank spots” in the model range meaning that it will be a big challenge for inexperienced modellers and a big strain for the wallets.
In terms of competition Daemons are currently whined upon by many a players as being ”too good” . The army is versatile and can be made to stand chances versus any lists and thanks to its stable nature its a really competitive army.


Last edited by squeek; 12-05-08 at 09:34 AM.
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Ogre Kingdoms
Written by Tim/Steve



Fluff
His Most Excellent Majesty Xen Huong, Celestial Dragon Emperor of the Imperial Palace of Grand Cathay is the most important man in the entire history of the ogres, for it was him that caused the destruction of the ogre homeland, introducing them to their cruel god and beginning their diaspora.
Bored of the constant raids on Cathay the Emperor asked his astromancers to assemble to call down retribution upon the ogres. Soon after a meteor struck the heart of the ogre nations, but this was no normal impact. The comet drove itself through the entire world creating 2 great maws, complete with rows of serrated teeth.
The impact was so great that it killed the majority of the ogres and turned their fertile land into a harsh desert, whipped by winds laced with warpstone dust that left the entire land uninhabitable.
The surviving ogres fought for the last remnants of food, and when that was gone fell to cannibalism as the only source of sustenance... but something was wrong, no matter how much they ate no ogre could quieten the gnawing hunger within them. The last surviving ogres were forced westward in a desperate search for food, which would never be enough to feed their eternal hunger, which the ogres linked to the giant crater/hole left by the meteor, which they gave the name the Great Maw, and worship as a god.
As they travelled westward the ogres found themselves trespassing in the lands of the Sky Titans: immensely powerful beings that united would have easily crushed the fledgling ogre kingdoms, but isolated in their mountaintop castles they were all eventually brought low (and eaten) by the hungry ogres.

The ogres now have a relatively stable culture within the Mountains of Mourn with the strongest ogres taking control of their tribes (by defeating and eating the previous Tyrant in a duel). Ogres are constantly looking for food; some tribe rely on hunters bringing prey back from the mountains but most fill their need by contact with other races. The more noble ogres receive food as payment for fighting for other 'lesser' races or for guarding their caravan routes through the mountains, while more malign ogres raid for what they want (or receive tithes to prevent them raiding, which often acts solely as an aperitif for the ogres, who then raid anyway).
Whatever happens you can't trust an ogre beyond their next meal: so long as you keep feeding them they'll be your friends... but step between an ogre and his next meal and you'll likely become it.


Models
Ogres have one of the best selection of models around for character and modelling potential.
Building the standard kits without conversion will give a pretty good looking army, every unit has a character all of its own and gnoblars/maneaters are just about the most characterful units in the entire game. With that said a little conversion skill will turn a good looking army into a impressive looking individualised army: the larger scale to the ogres means they are an ideal place to learn modelling skills that can then be put to good use on more fiddly models.


Gameplay
Ogres move faster and hit harder faster then pretty much any other army around and are backed up by superb shooting in the form of leadbelchers and better artillery... all of which can mush most enemies in combat. Sounds too good to be true? Well yes, there are some downsides too: ogres tend to have poor leadership and while they have 3W each they tend to have fairly poor armour saves and won't have enough models on the table to sustain a war of attrition for long.
Ogres are the glass hammers of the WFB world: they do a lot of damage, but can't really take much in return.

The game is split up into 4 phases: movement, magic, shooting and combat... here's a quick runthrough of how ogres fiar in each.

Movement- ogres are the fastest non-cavalry army around and with gorgers able to appear behind the enemy and yhetees able to cross any sort of terrain an ogre army can normally outmanouver pretty much anyone, letting you fight the battles you want to fight, while being able to avoid the fights you think you'll lose.

Magic- The Lore of the Great Maw is the principle lore of the ogres and it has some of the best augment spells in the game, helping ogres to survive enemy attacks and then making their own nastier in return. The only spell that isn't really all that helpful is the 'best' spell in the lore: simply called "The Maw", which is an almost perfect anti-ogre weapon, and since a misfire will lead to the enemy placing its effects choosing to cast this spell is at best the roll of a gambler, but at worst the last act of a desperate player.

Shooting- Leadbelchers are second only to flamers of Tzeentch for sheer offensive power, but while flamers might be able to march and shoot (and stand and shoot the ogres back their cannons up with being ogres, meaning they are still lethal in combat. Backing these guys up are the artillery, either in the form of a gnoblar jerry-rigged catapult or ransacked sky-titan cannon both of which are mounted on powerful chariots pulled by bad-tempered rhinoxen. While they don't have the power to rival a dwarf or empire gunline ogres can certainly bring enough pain to make most armies wince.

Combat- Ogres might move fast, but they hit slow. low initiative means they mostly strike last, but when they hit they hit hard. Ogres by themselves are a challenge for most enemy units, but add in characters and magical augments and they soon become some of the strongest units in the game: their lack of armour means you have to use them tactically, but get it right and whole enemy units will just evaporate from your path.

Lords and Heroes
Tyrants are leaders of a tribe of ogres, a place they've won by being the biggest and strongest of their kin. On the table, and properly equipped, these guys are the equal of pretty much any other single model in the game (be it lord or monster).
Slaughtermasters are the chief cooks of a tribe, and when your worship revolves around eating you know you have to respect the cook. A slaughtermaster is nearly as powerful as a tyrant but can also buff whole ogre armies with his magic: a common site in any ogre force the slaughtermaster should never be underrated.

Bruisers are often kin of the tyrant, but they don't retain their rank through nepotism: they are second only in strength to the tyrant (or each other). Normally seen carrying the tyrant's battle standard bruisers are some of the nastiest heros in the game, often capable of taking on and beating lord level characters.
Butchers are every ogres best friend, but they are very careful to avoid showing favoritism to anyone other then the tyrant (lest they get eaten). A somewhat rare sight in 8th where slaughtermasters out class them somewhat but sometimes taken to give the ogre player access to the lores of beasts, heavens or death.
Firebellies- devotees of the Volcano God (!!) these ogres must consume liquid hot magma to show their readiness to serve. Giving access to the Lore of Fire and bringing a S4 breath weapon means that ogre players that focus more on pure offense tend to employ a firebelly for their magic.
Hunters are loners, which is probably a good thing because their rules stink. They do give you some nice options and look and feel fairly cool, but they just don't do enough to justify even half their points...

Core units
Bulls (ogres) are the ogre equivalent of a civillian: they aren't big, they aren't clever, but they do eat lots and hit hard. Throw some of these guys into a unit and direct them at an enemy and there is bound to be blood flowing. A solid choice but nothing remarkable.
Ironguts- the 'guards' of the tribe. Normally seen as retinues for either the Tyrant or high ranking Bruisers. Ironguts have great weapons, giving them a little more offensive power but their main advantage in game is that they can have a magical banner,
Gnoblars- almost useless unless you need a tarpit, but with Ld5 I hope you have a general and possibly a BSB close by to keep them in the fight. The trappers upgrade is interesting but isn't going to do enough to really make the gnoblars worth taking.

Special units
Leadbelchers are awesome. Anything within 24" of them is going to be feeling their sting, but get into combat and you'll be no safer. A solid choice of support unit.
Yhetees- a distant kin of the ogres, fast moving over any terrain with magical ice weapons that can kill even ethereal enemies... but unless you fight a lot of etherals I just wouldn't bother with them.
Mournfang- shock and awe personified. If they make it to the enemy then they'll likely kill their way through in fairly short order... but that's the only 'order' linked to these guys: with fairly crap Ld and low model count they'll often run away as soon as they take a casualty.
Maneaters- they've travelled the world and have learnt skills that can greatly aid your army... if you can afford their price. High points cost with no additional protection over standard ogres sees these guys rarely used... but the ability to pick special rules for them can make them exactly what your army needs: poisonous sniper weapons killing enemy characters or swiftstriding scouts appearing behind the enemy ready for early-game massacres are 2 of the best combos.

Rare units
Ironblasters- its a S5 chariot with a cannon on the back which not only fires mutiple cannonballs (roll 2 bounce distances and take furthest) but also has S10 grapeshot. Very very nasty unit...
Gorgers- deformed ogres, abandoned to the black pits of the caves under the ogres' mountains. Almost totally devoid of thought they are lured to battle by the scent of blood, appearing from any table edge and being totally unbreakeble makes them a huge threat to rearguards and warmachines.
Slavegiants- rubbish, forget they exist.
Scraplaunchers- move and fire artilery just like ironblasters but instead of a cannon they pack a S3 large blast stonethrower with killing blow. Capable of tearing the hert out of large infantry units the scraplauncher is also the funniest and most characterful of any ogre unit.

Money Saving
Ogres are the cheapest army around (only rivalled by WoC), with both the battalion and bull boxes being great value for money (a phrase rarely directed at GW products). Even better is that ogres come with a great vaiety of little add ons and base scenery which can make units look great but are also great helps for converting other models. That really is the word for money saving with ogres: converting. It is the character models that really start to ratchet up the price for buying an ogre army, and with such little choice available (just 1 tyrant/bruiser, 1 slaughtermaster/butcher and 1 hunter) converting bulls/ironguts into either characters or maneaters is natural both to save money and to give your army more variation.


Summary
Ogres are a cheap army to start and are quick to paint and with such excellent value for money on their basic sets that if you can convert your own characters/elites you'll save a bundle. On the tabletop ogres can now compete with almost anything but still have a remarkable vulnerability to initiative based magic. Generally if you can get stuck into the enemy before they can kill significant numbers of your ogres you'll bash your way straight through.


Last edited by Tim/Steve; 05-05-12 at 02:44 PM.
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Tomb Kings
Written by Stephen_Newman



Fluff

South to the lands of man, further south than the Ork ridden Badlands exists vast quantities of desert. It is here in this desert where the once proud and ancient kingdom of Nehekhara exists.

In its past Nehekhara was a glorious advanced civilization that was founded on the might of the priest kings and their servants in the mortuary cult. In death these mighty kings were mummified in exquisite burial ritualswhere they were promised that in their next lives they would lead glorious armies and live eternally. They were buried in great pyramids with marvellous statuary from faithful Necrotects and buried with entire armies to lead in the next life.

However all this changed with the coming of Nagash. The most powerful and evil sorceror the world will ever know Nagash lead a bloody war against the priest kings and was eventually driven out in a series of bloody wars. however at the end of these wars Nehekhara had changed. Its people long all slain and a great necromantic chant had arisen the Tomb Kings and their armies. Denied the promise of eternal life and a glorious kingdom as promised by the mortuary cult their anger and wrath was great. To this day the Tomb Kings mean to expand their great realms to the extent that they once were and teach the lesser races of men who were once the most powerful.

Models

Having been of a recent army update the Tomb Kings range has a vast extent of wonderful looking models. Whether it is the look of the skeletons riding chariots pulled by skeletal steeds or the grand majesty imposed by a Warsphinx the range is almost bound to have a model that is in your taste.

One thing when getting a Tomb Kings army is a nice quick way of painting bone. After all you are going to be painting a lot of it! Luckily to help you in this certain task most of the Tomb King range is made of plastic, which is much easier to work with. They were even one of the first armies to have a substantial contigent of resin products which are also relatively easy to work with.

Gameplay

In game the Tomb Kings have a very unique nature. For starters every army has to have a character who is designated the Heirophant. This will typically be the most experianced wizard in the army and this particular model will be key to many of your plans. After all if the Heirophant dies then the army will slowly crumble apart. However to help with the protection of the Heirophant there is the option for vast legions of cheap troops in the form of Skeleton Warriors and archers. Alternatively there is also options for an all mounted host riding skeletal steeds or the more formidable chariot legions.

All of this is backed up by the Animated constructs. These units are statues dedicated to the Gods of Nehekhara in the forms of Giants, Idols, Scorpions, Sphinxes and other bizarre combinations. These models provide a solid core to the army and can be used to stop enemy charges or support charges of your own.

Model Rundown

Tomb King
These are typically the head honchos of many armies. They are dead hard characters with an impressive stat line, potential for good combinations for magical items and special rules which allow a mighty buff to the unit they occupy. This can allow a large part of your battleline to fight with the expert skill available normally only accessible to the mightiest heroes!

High Liche Priest
If you favour magic and want a powerful Heirophant then this is your guy. Whilst not having a great stat line they can be powerful level 4 wizards and when armed with the right magic spells can either create magical enchantments to protect your own units or magically move your army at ridiculously high speeds!

Tomb Prince
A lesser version of the mightier Tomb Kings but a great unit to field in lower point games. They mimic the Tomb Kings with an impressive stat line, equal to other Lord choices from other armies despite being a hero choice, the ability to buff a unit and good options.

Tomb Heralds
These guys operate as good bodyguards. Or super Tomb Guard so to speak (those guys covered later). Tomb Heralds have Killing Blow and a decent stat line to help them challenge other heroes from other army lists. They also have the option for a battle standard bearer and can protect your Tomb Kings and Princes from threats should they be close enough.

Liche Priest
Most armies will likely include at least one of these guys. Lesser versions of the more expensive High Liche Priest these old wizards provide magical support for an army and one of these is likely to be the army Heirophant if led by a tomb king

Necrotect
A last potential hero choice. These guys scultped the statuary of Nehekhara in their life and now are very anger about the damage caused by the lesser races against their sacred objects. As a result these master architects can provide a special save for animated constructs and confer hatred to a unit they join which makes them much more effective in combat.

Skeleton Warriors
The basic foot soldier of the army. Not going to lie to you these guys suck stat wise but luckily to make them more appealing units of these are VERY cheap to make (at least points wise. Your wallet may differ) and when in large horde formations can tarpit even the most hard hitting units and strike back.

Skeleton Archers
The same as the Warriors. Except these guys have bows! However the Tomb Kings use special arrows that always hit on 5's. Whilst this might seem crummy when compared to other races but bear in mind these will NEVER suffer modifiers that the lesser races bear with. Skeleton Archers do not care if you are hiding in cover, skirmishers, have special rules etc because they will ALWAYS hit on 5's. Typically a unit of these guys are normally included in every competitive Tomb King list.

Skeleton Horsemen
These are also the same stat wise as your Warriors. Except they ride horses. Whilst the steed has an equally unimpressive stat line they do now have the mobility to zip around the flanks of an army and break ranks thanks to a high movement value and the Vanguard special rule.

Skeleton Horse Archers
Think of these as Skellie Archers on horses. Being fast cavalry these guys are ridiculously fast and manouverable. Having both the Vanguard and Scouts special rules mean these guys can quite likely be behind the enemy army before the first turn. Also always hitting on 5's is never a bad thing, even on the move.

Skeleton Chariots
One of my personal favourite units. This is another area the Tomb Kings differ from the norm. The Tomb Kings are the ONLY army that fields units of Chariots. Being fast and generating a vast number of impact hits it might not surprise one to know they are not the cheapest models (although on the opposite end of the spectrum your wallet may like them more!) but pack a serious punch, especially when backed by Animated Constructs or by flanking Skeleton Horsemen.

Tomb Guard
These are sort of the upgraded version of Skeleton Warriors (or lesser Tomb Heralds) and quite a difference these upgrades make. Tomb Guard come with an impressive stat line, armour of some kind and the Killing Blow special rule. This allows them to take enemy charges and cut through the most heavily armoured troops with ease. Especially when backed by the right spells units of these guys make the perfect bunker unit to hide fragile wizards (Like Heirophants for example).

Necropolis Knights
The Knights are comparable to slightly upgraded Tomb Guard (They get an extra attack) riding dirty great stone serpents (which do most of the work). Being animated constructs and having a good armour save they are quite hard. With killing blow and poisoned attacks between rider and mount they can fight their way through most units in the game whilst suffering little damage in turn.

Tomb Scorpion
Another Animated Construct. These cheap scorpions are useful for getting rid of enemy war machines. They deploy in a special manner that lets them pop up right next to their quarry (cue evil laugh at this point). Having a plethora of special rules allows these monsters to kill of their quarry pretty quickly. After dealing with war machines these guys are in a great position to rear charge enemy units to help break the combats you might have trouble dealing with at the moment.

Ushabti
Weird stone statues in the shape of idols to the gods of Nehekhara they are best comparable to the equivalent of Ogres by having a decent statline and being relatively cheap in points to field in large units to form a solid central battleline unit perfect to use as a hammer blow.

Tomb Swarms
Little critters that seem to get in everyone's teeth. Tomb Swarms are a great unit to consider if you want to run a defensive army. Another unit that deploys in a special manner like the Tomb Scorpion. Tomb Swarms are fab for raising a hard roadblock in front of the squishy battleline. Being swarms they get plenty of wounds per base and so stick around for a while. They also get poisoned attacks so they are quite good to set upon monsters that you feel may threaten your army such as Giants, Treemen, Dragons etc.

Carrion
These are big birds. Big birds who actually have a decent statline as well as deploying in a skirmisher formation as well as being fliers to help them get where they are needed. These excell as being annoying pests by being in place to launch flank charges or destroy war machines that are stopping your advance. Being realtively cheap they can be fielded in large units (although you are not likely to need more than 6 in a unit).

Khemrian Warsphinx
One of the biggest critters in the book. These giant leonine statues are solid rocks in the army. Boasting a very impressive toughness of 8 they can shrug off a lot of attacks that would breach the armour of lesser creatures. But they are certainly capable of bringing the pain themselves. Able to not only absorb damage easlily they can also run through units and even jump up and down on them until nothing is left (quite literally. They have a special rule to allow them to do this!).

Sepulchral Stalkers
Another of my favourite units. These snake like creatures are very useful in my army as rapid strike units. However these guys are best suited not actually in combat. They get a special shooting attack that allows them to turn enemy models into sand! However exposed frying of enemies can sometimes turn these guys into sand themselves. To help avoid being charges they get a special rule that allows them to pop up out of the ground. Preferably behind the unit you intend to blast off the table.

Necrolith Colossus
The first of 2 creatures that are the Tomb Kings answer to the Giant used by lesser races. The Colossus is a very powerful battering ram! With a very impressive statline with plenty of attacks with special rules allowing them to make MORE attacks in combat this unit can potentially rip apart entire units by themselves. However it is best is used among another unit to make any fight ridiculously one-sided!

Hierotitan
The second Giant equivalent. However unlike the Colossus this has a very different role rather than head down and charge! This model is a source of bound spells and allow buffs to nearby wizards attempting to cast spells by providing a helping hand. It also has a relatively decent statline to help it survive.

Necrosphinx
My favourite model in the range. The Necrosphinx is a bizarre amalgamation of many Nehekharan deities and this produces a very individual model. Packing a statline very similar to the Warsphinx but comes with special rules such as fly to make it faster than normal and even a special combat move that allows it to slice off even the heads of the most powerful dragons and Bloodthirsters in once clean sweep! This guy is awesome and definitely one I include in every army list possible. Even if only for the lovely model.

Screaming Skull Catapult
The first of two war machines employed by the Tomb Kings. This is comaprable to the stone throwers used by other races except they hurl screaming flaming skulls at the enemy (probably fashioned in a Ghost Rider style way). With a decent strength for the shot and the ability to panic units caught in the blast these machines are useful in many ways. Although best employed to destroy those hordes of troops.

Casket of Souls
The second war machine. This machine has a different way of firing. first off it provides a magical buff by providing magic dice as well as providing a bound spell that not only is vicious against low LD armies such as Skaven and Orks and Goblins but can very easily spread across half an army with relative ease. Another unit that is employed in certain competitive armies for its cheap cost and usefulness to the army.

Thats all folks!!


Last edited by Tim/Steve; 05-09-12 at 05:25 PM.
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The Empire
Written by Othiem and khrone forever



Fluff
The Empire began when Sigmar united the divided tribes of humans together under his common rule. During his reign, humans often fought along side the dwarves against the orcs and goblins trying to cross the mountains into their lands. This forged strong bonds between Empire and Dwarves, which the long memoried Dwarves still hold to, and have repaid by teaching the men of the Empire about cannons and black-powder weaponry. Sigmar was deified upon his death, and is now the center of the Empire's most prolific religion. Strictly though, the Empire is a polytheistic society, with several organizations such as the Knights of the Blazing Sun devoted to foreign gods.
Since the reign of sigmar the Empire has been wrought by civil war and invasions from every side, this culminated in the invasion of the Empire by the forces of chaos, lead by the warlord Kul. The emperor at the time, magus the pious, defeated the hoards of chaos, and determined not to be magically incapable again, he set up the 8 colages of magic in Altdorf.

In its current incarnation, the Empire consists of several loosely connected provinces, each run by an Elector Count. The emperor was chosen from among these counts. However in recent times, the emperor has always been chosen from the Reikland, the most prosperous of provinces.

The Empire is threatened by enemies on all sides, with warriors of chaos invading from the north, orcs and goblins attempting to cross the mountains from the east, vampire counts causing ruckus from the fallen province of Sylvania, Skaven mobs pushing up from beneath their cities, beastmen who permiate the dark forests of the land, and dark elf raiders on their western coasts. The Empire maintains strong ties with the Dwarves who guard the mountains to their east, and the Bretonians, who they consider slightly barbaric, who guard them from the south.


Models
GW has stated the Empire is the first army they want to move to an all plastic line, and it shows. The plastic lord/bsb kit has tons of variation, as does the plastic wizard kit which allows you to make two wizards reflecting any of the eight lores. Every single choice in the Empire army is either in finecast of plastic. The kits are great, with tons of extra bits for use in other conversions and spicing up your models, and no major difficulties in assembling. The most persistent complaint about Empire plastics is that they are in fact TOO detailed and can be quite involved to paint properly especially the cloth, with its many ruffs and flairs.

The general look of the Empire is a break from more traditional fantasy humans. In dress they look more like Renaissance Germans, with puffy shirts and feathers in their hats. The variety of provinces gives a good basis for lots of different paint schemes, and GW have left it open so you can extremely easily create you own realm with its own heraldry and colours. The addition of knightly orders which may each have their own color scheme as well can make Empire armies look very colorful and visually distinct on the field.


Gameplay
At the end of the day, despite any gear and special rules a unit might have, your average Empire unit has a poor human stat line. The Empire rule book makes it very easy to play a pure combat, shooting or cavalry list, as each of these have several different troop choices and different heroes to bolster each fighting style. However where the Empire excels is its diversity, and synergy.

To reflect this, the Empire has a unique system called "detachments." Blocks of rank and file troops my take up to half the number of the “parent” unit in detachments, up to 2 detachments, of supporting combat troops, or missile support. These units can allow a non-ranged block of troops to stand and shoot or to do an out of sequence charge with the detachment, almost guaranteeing a flank charge.

State troops
Basic human stat line, can “take” halberds, spears, swords; each of these is a diffent unit, spears are cheapest with swords coming in at the most expensive but they do have a boosted WS. Halberdiers, spearmen can both take shields, swordsmen come with them, all have light armour

Handgunners/crossbowmen
Same stat line, with crossbow and handgun rules from the BRB, constant debate about which is better, both cost same points, no amour

Archers and free company
Same stat line, archers have skirmish and bows and cost the same as swordsmen, free company are the only unit who cannot take detachments, come with 2 hand weapons and no armour.

Knights
Basic stat line, boosted WS (same as swordsmen) come with a hefty 1+ save and lances, can take great weapons. Can be upgraded to better knights who have better strength.

The Empire battle wizards are some of the most versatile magic users in the whole game, each can choose any of the lores of magic from the main rulebook, this allows you to choose the lore that best fits your army, from beasts to make your combat troops better, or life to boost their resilience. Warrior Priests add an interesting angle into the Empire magic phase. They are melee heroes (and the arch lector is a lord choice) with access to some very powerful bound spells. Where neither a warrior priest or an Empire wizard could get spells through a reasonable enemy magic defence, in combination the two can effectively draw out enemy dispel dice and scrolls to get spells through.

Second only to the dwarves, the Empire warmachine list is diverse as well, with cannon and three of their own unique warmachines, each more wacky than the last. However be warned, as misfiring with some of these warmachines is fatal, and doing so is quite easy.

Cannon
Basic cannon from the BRB

Mortar
A stone thrower with a S2 blast, and armour piercing.

Volley gun
Fires 3 artillery dice of shots, range 24”. Misfires can range from ½ shots to the volley gun exploding

Rocket battery
Fires D3 small blast S3 armour piercing rockets.

Some of the other special and rare units of the Empire include:
Greatswords
Same statline as a swordsman (+LD), come with a great weapon and a 4+ save.

Demigryph knights
These are knights riding half eagle half lion monstrous cavalry! Come with a 1+ save and lances, can have halberds. Gryphs have armour piercing

Pistoliers and outriders
Both horse mounted missile units, outriders have powerful multi shot, move or fire handguns, pistoliers have a brace of pistols from the BRB

Flagellants
These are bat-shit-crazy troops who will buff themselves depending on how many “sacrifice” themselves at the start of combat, come with flails

Steam tank
This is a monstrocity, comes with a 1+ save and T10 and W10. Has its own cannon and can grind down troops in combat, only downside is its very high cost

A special mention has to go to the Empire heroes and lords, I believe that the Empire has one of the most diverse hero and lord sections in fantasy. Each character will add something different to the list, weather making your troops braver, more combat orientated or more resilient, and the lords are basically the same, but do it all better.


Oh and the crazy chariots that they have....

Celestial hurricanum
this is a chariot with a 5+ save and 2 weak troops on it, the good thing is that it will boost troops near it and can call down storms and meteorites onto opponents. And adds to your power pool

lumiarck of hysh
this is a chariot with a 5+ save and 2 weak troops on it, the good thing is that it will protect troops near it with a ward save, and has a massive bolt thrower of light on it


Money Saving
The Empire steam tank is possibly the single most expensive GW model, coming in at $65 for single one. However it is very easy to magnetize the weapon choices on the state troops, and the missile units, which allows you to chance role between battles. Also, extra state troop bodies are readily available from ebay or bitsandkits, so you can use the spare arms and weapons provided in the boxes to cheaply make more of the basic troops.

Summary
The Empire is a great for a player who enjoys using all of their forces together in support of one another, and is not focuses on a few powerful units that can dominate a game. Price wise the Empire is reasonable. They are a horde army and state troops can get expensive, but the advantages of the wide variety of plastics keep the price in check. Power wise the Empire is also reasonable. They are strong enough to give competitive games against the newer armies, but not so over the top that playing against ok and the like provides no challenge. With their insane level of diversity, the Empire offer something to every player, whether it be massed ranks of firepower supported by cannons, or hoards of state troops buffed by warrior priests and mages or massed cavalry charges combined with the swift outriders and pistolieers.


Where to go from here
Empire.com forums
Games Workshop's Empire Page


Last edited by Tim/Steve; 05-06-12 at 09:30 AM.
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Warriors of Chaos
Written by Dave T Hobbit




Fluff

At the polar regions of the Warhammer World lie the Polar Gates leading to the fabled realm of Chaos. The power of Chaos spills out warping reality and creating the Chaos Wastes. Close to the gates logic and physics are almost irrelevant but further away the influence becomes more subtle. It is this influence that the tribes of the North feel. Instead of the human faith of the other religions, the Northmen worship the Gods of Chaos, Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slaanesh, for the boons they provide. When a Northman first attracts the notice of the Gods they will often leave their tribe and become a Warrior of Chaos. Journeying through the Northlands they seeking renown and signs of divine favour. Banding with others or striking out on their own they tale what they need and respect only those strong enough to win.

If the Gods take notice they might grant rewards or mutations to the Warrior elevating them to an Exalted Hero or even Chaos Lord. However, this is but another test. Each mutation causes the tribesman to lose his identity, his humanity. If they possess the will to survive despite these changes the rewards are great; lesser Warriors will flock to the hero bringing power and wealth and the strongest few ascend to be a Daemon Prince and sit at the side of honoured ancestors and the Gods themselves. Those who lack the will lose both their mind and form becoming an idiot Spawn of Chaos. Strong enough or not any who walk the path are no longer truly human. Usually the followers of the Gods fight amongst themselves in endless betrayals and feuds; however the strongest heroes might hold together an army that threatens even civilised lands and when the Gods call even Daemon Princes will band together.
Unit Overview

Marks

Most units can be dedicated to one of the four major Gods of Chaos granting them one or more special rules, such as Frenzy fo Khorne or a bonus to cast for Tzeentch.
Gifts of the Gods

In addition to both the magic items form the main rule book and some unique items, many characters have access to a separate allowance for Gifts of the Gods granting powerful mutations or boons including weakening enemy attacks and re-rolling casting dice.
Eye of the Gods

Chaos Warriors seek to gain the notice of their gods by defeating their enemies in glorious combat and slaying mighty beasts. If a character kills an enemy in a challenge or a large target they receive a randomly generated upgrade including +1 to a stat or a 4+ Ward save; however the majesty of Chaos may overwhelm them causing Stupidity.
Characters

Chaos Lord

Chaos Lords have exceptional close combat skills, exceptional toughness, and high wounds. Combined with access to an extensive armoury a Lord is a match for anything he may face and my be designed to take on tough opponents single-handed or decimate units. The bigest downside is that you are paying a premium for an efficient killer who is wasted out of combat. However, as Lords can be mounted on a choice of Barded Chaos Steed (with a better stat line than a Warhorse), Chariot, Daemonic Steed, Manticore, or Dragon, and Marked Lords can also be mounted on a steed allied with their patron (such has a Juggernaut or Disc of Tzeentch) getting into combat quickly is not usually an issue.
Sorcerer Lord

Beginning as a Level 3 wizard with the ability to upgrade to Level 4, Sorcerer Lords are powerful spell casters. Marked Sorcerer Lords use their patron's Lore whilst unmarked Sorcerer Lords chose from the Lores of Fire, Death, Shadow, and Heavens. With access to the same mounts as a Chaos Lord they can easily be equipped to have the manoeuvrability and enhanced line of sight to cover the battlefield. In addition, with a stat line equal to an average hero and 4+ armour as standard they can hold their own if they do end up in combat so can even serve as a fighting general if you do not want or cannot afford a Chaos Lord as well.
Daemon Prince

A Terrifying monster that can fly and be given up to four magic levels, the Daemon Prince can fill the role of either of the mortal Lords. However, without access to magic items it cannot be customised as easily as a Chaos Lord and, being great in close combat is always choosing between not fighting and not casting as a Wizard. For these reasons it functions better alongside another character, either as as a touch of magic in an extreme close combat army or as a front-lone caster in a magic heavy army.
Exalted Champion

With a statline equivalent to many army's Lords, Exalted Heroes can easily fill the role of character or monster killer leaving Lord slot free for a Sorcerer Lord. Alternatively their access to powerful defensive items can create a resilient Battle Standard Bearer.
Chaos Sorcerer

Starting as a Level 1 Wizard with an upgrade to Level 2 and a statline only slightly below an average hero, Sorcerers can fill the same role as Sorcerer Lords on a smaller scale, including being General in a small army. However, without most of the mount options and with unmarked Sorcerers limited to the Lores of Fire and Death, Sorcerers function best in larger armies as support units.
Special Characters.

Archaon

Lord of the End Times. A Chaos Lord blessed by all the Chaos Powers, accompanied by an upgraded unit of Chaos Knights. For those occasions when you want to burn the world.
Valkia

A Flying princess of Khorne who reduces the attacks and strength of her opponents and lets you reroll failed Break tests the Eye of the Gods.
Festus

An Alchemist of Nurgle, Festus is a Level 2 wizard grants 5+ Regeneration and poisoned attacks to his unit making him an excellent addition to lighter armoured units such as Marauders. However his statline is weak (especially compared to everything else in the army) and reduces his unit's pursuit distance so can have issues with both prolonged combat and broken foes.
Vilitch

A Level 4 Sorcerer Lord of Tzeentch with a better statline making him even more match for a combat character. Also if you opponent fails to cast a spell, Vilich gains dice to his dispel pool so can force you opponent to use up their power dice on fewer spells.
Sigvald

A Chaos Lord of Slaanesh with many more attacks, who is so beautiful dangerous terrain moves out of the way of his unit. However he is so vain he suffers from Stupidity.
Wulfrik

A Marauder Warlord with the ability to enter the battlefield from your opponent's edge accompanied by a unit of Marauders, Wulfrik can catch the enemy between two battle lines. He wanders the world seeking worthy opponents so has the ability to pick an enemy character as his target for the game and gain bonuses against that opponent. However with only a Hero's statline and lacking a magic weapon his target cannot be too ambitous.
Galrauch

The original two-headed Dragon with a breath attack for each head and another for luck is Terrifying inand out of cose combat. As a Level 4 Wizard it can spread the carnage across another phase. However, this also bring the same issue as a Daemon Prince, whether to forgo casting or close combat.
Throgg

A smart Troll who allows Ogres, Trolls or Dragon Ogres to use his Leadership 7 as if he is General and reroll break tests as if he is a Battle Standard Bearer. As well as good close combat stats and Regeneration, he has a breath attack and a magical vomit attack so can deal with mundane or ethereal units just as as easily.
Kholek

A Dragon Ogre Shaggoth with a magical weapon that causes multiple wounds, so Kholek is more than a match in close combat for any character or monster. Like all Dragon Ogres he takes no damage and becomes Frenzied when hit with lightning based attacks; however he may also redirect any lightning based spells targeting units within 12" so they target him instead and attempt to throw lightning himself. Unfortunately he is an obvious target without a ward save so can struggle to reach combat.
Core

Warriors

With two WS5 Strength 4 attacks at Initiative 5 and 4+ armour save before upgrades, Warriors are the equal of most special choices from other armies. The closest thing to a weakness is that they are infantry so need to slog across the battlefield through enemy fire to reach their targets.In addition, each one can be tailor made to the task at hand: if a 4+ AS is not good enough then add a shield; if you expect to fight really tough opponents then take a great weapon; want to pack a punch without sacrificing your initiative then take halberds.
Marauders

Compared to Warriors, Marauders are a cheap unit. Compared to other armies they have good stats for a Core unit. With the option to add great weapons, flails, light armour and shields, they can also be upgraded to fill more than one role. Without several upgrades they are cheap enough to run as a Horde.
Marauder Horsemen

Without upgrades Horsemen are Fast Cavalry and have the same above average combat ability as their fellows, so can put pressure on your opponent from turn one and can be given flails to make them a real threat to anything they encounter. With the ability to take either throwing spears or throwing axes they can also harry the flanks with little risk. With the addition of both Shields and Light Armour they cease to be Fast Cavalry but become a cheaper alternative to Chaos Knights.
Warhounds

Warhounds are fast moving and cheap so can be used to draw fire from your expensive units while they advance or race up the flanks to add flanking or rear support to your main units. With the option to take an armour save and poison your attacks they can be configured to pose a risk to war machines and other mostly ranged units. However, Warhounds do not count towards the minimum number of units for a valid army.
Special

Chosen

As heavily armoured as Warriors and with the same options but a better stat line, Chosen are similar to a unit of heroes. With the addition of a free roll on Eye of the Gods table and the option to give the Champion a Magic Item they are easily worth their points. However, their cost limits their size so they will probably be outnumbered even by elite units.
Chaos Knights

Knights are the Chosen of the heavy cavalry world. As well as an excellent stat line and a 1+ armour save, their basic equipment includes a +1 strength magical weapon which makes them excellent against ethereal units. Alternatively it can be swapped for a lance to give their charge even more punch if your opponent is likely to be heavily armoured opponents. However, you are paying for their ability so a unit large enough to function well without support against larger units is very expensive.
Forsaken

With a higher Movement than Chosen and a random number of attacks for roughly the same cost, Forsaken are capable of putting out enough damage to wipe out an enemy that would survive against their fellows; however with a lower weapon skill and armour save and no available upgrades they are less effective against elite units.
Chaos Chariot

With the statline of several Chaos Warriors and Impact hits, a Chariot hits hard and can also be taken as the mount of a character. However, like Chaos Knights, Chariots are better on the offence than the defence so do not fare well if unsupported especially in protracted combats.
Ogres

Monstrous Infantry that can be given 4+ Armour save. With a poor initiative to begin with they also lose little if given great weapons. And, unlike the other Monstrous units can be given full command. With a slightly lower damage output and slightly higher survivability than three Chosen for the same cost Ogres can function as a more defensive close combat unit.
Dragon Ogres

4 Wound Monstrous Beasts who move as fast as Chaos Knights with a higher strength. With the option to take either an additional hand weapon or a great weapons they can either be equipped to kill elite units or take on monsters.
Trolls

With a good movement, a magical vomit attack that ignores armour, and Regeneration that can gain them rolls on the Eye of the Gods, Trolls can handle many different opponents with ease. However they suffer from Stupidity and a have a very low Leadership so need babysitting to achieve anything.
Rare

Chaos Spawn

A mindless flailing mass of limbs with random movement and random attacks. At their best they launch many attacks into an unprepared enemy; at their worst they wander away from the battle at a critical moment. A true Chaos unit.
Scyla Anfgrim

A unique Chaos Spawn "blessed" by Khorne with faster movement, more attacks, Magical Resistance, and the ability to participate in challenges and roll on the Eye of the Gods. However he can still wander off when you need him.
Chaos Warshrine

A mobile altar which grants all unit Champions the ability to roll on the Eye of the Gods table if they win a challenge or kill a large target, and can give a blessing to one unit each turn. With many wounds a high toughness, and both good Armour and Ward Saves it is resilient and can deal some wounds. However it is more useful for support than killing so takes up points that could be spent on offence if you want a more brutal army.
Hellcannon

A Giant Stone Thrower possessed by a Daemon or a Monster that can shoot, the Hellcannon adds a solid War machine without giving up close combat ability. However, the Daemon seeks to be tear down the world so the Hellcannon can decide to rampage forward uncontrollably or cause all magic users to miscast.
Shaggoth

A larger, more dangerous Dragon Ogre. However, as with Kholek, is a tempting target for enemy fire.
Giant

Unsurprisingly Giants are large. They are also Stubborn and Immune to Psychology. However their attacks are randomly determined ranging from automatically winning combat to attempting to stuff an enemy in his trousers so Giants do not always fit well with a complex plan. Lacking a save they are also very vulnerable to ranged fire and overwhelming numbers.
Models

Characters

A multi-part plastic Chaos Lord/Sorcerer on Manticore kit and two plastic Chaos Sorcerers on foot are available and several characters are available in Finecast. No Chaos Lord on Dragon is available, although the Manticore riders or Chaos Knights can be easily fitted to a dragon kit from another army.
Core

All the Core choices are available in plastic. The models are high quality,; however the Marauder warriors are older and many feel rather ugly looking and (being bulkier than Chaos Warriors) can look oversized. In addition, not all of the Weapons options are available in the sprue: however these are available either as online bitz packs (halberds and great weapons for Warriors) or with an easy conversion (Halberds from Chaos Knight Lances for Warriors, and flails to great weapons for Marauders).
Special

Chaos Knights are available in a high quality plastic kit. Most of the remaining Special Choices are currently metal; however both Ogres and Trolls from other armies are available in plastic so can easily be converted to Chaos and Chosen can be converted from Warriors. Forsaken are not released yet, although again they can easily be converted from Chaos Warriors. The worst models by far in the Chaos range (perhaps in the Games Workshop range) are Dragon Ogres; however there are several ways to convert alternatives.
Rare

The Giant and Spawn are available in plastic kits with many optional parts. The Shaggoth and Hellcannon are available in Finecast. The War Shrine is not released yet but can be converted from a Chariot or other models.

Overall the range has plenty of opportunities for conversion but does not require it to field an effective army.
Game Play

Everything in the army (including Wizards) is very good in Close Combat for its point cost allowing you to build a lethal close combat army. However - while you will outclass almost everything that an opponent can throw at you - many units are expensive so you will often be outnumbered, allowing your opponent to outmanoeuvre and make each casualty expensive, so it is better to compete in other phases as well. As the Army Book was written for 7th Edition, Chaos Magic lacks the ability to cast spells at different levels. However, as befits power taken from the Realm of Chaos is still effective, either buffing units (such as Regeneration or making a Rank and File Trooper a Hero) or destroying the enemy (such as making a unit attack itself, or even opening a portal beneath them). Magic Items and Gifts of the Gods also allow a Chaos Army to re-roll casting dice and control the severity of miscasts saving your own wizards and dooming your opponents. With the addition of the Hellcannon, Chaos can also have a passable Shooting Phase.

The number of strong units available for Chaos mean that you can choose to field a mixture, or focus on a theme (such as heavy armour). With most units having more than one useful set-up you can easily build an army to counter any opponent.
Money Saving

Most of the plastic sets come with plenty of extra parts and can be interchanged with little or no cutting. As many chaos weapons and abilties stem from the Gods of Chaos any spare parts or even sprue can become powerful upgrades.
Summary

Warriors of Chaos are an army that not only trives but must get into close combat.

With many varied units that function well on the table the army lends itself both to players who want a winning force and players whose primary focus is modelling and painting.


Last edited by Tim/Steve; 05-09-12 at 05:18 PM.
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Vampire Counts
Written by The Gunslinger



Introduction:
The Undead are an ever-present plague on the living. This horror becomes a waking nightmare when bound to the will of a Vampire. When a Vampire prepares for war he does not march alone. Followed by legions of skeletons, the recently dead rise as Zombies, and crypt ghouls come to the call of the vampires. More powerful things known as Wights are summoned to fight in regiments of Grave Guard and Black Knights. Even more deadly than these warriors are the Blood Knights - Vampires of an ancient martial order, intent on slaying all the living. Equally as feared are the feral vampiric beasts known as Varghulfs. Ghosts can be summoned from their restless existence. It is with these creatures and more that the Vampire Counts will use to try to take the world. After all, everything that dies is theirs to command, and everything dies in the end.


Models:
Most of the Vampire counts force is now made up of plastic whilst new models and the old metal models have been recast in finecast. Whilst not being overly cost effective, it does make for some very stunning models. Due to the need for large hordes of core units, Vampire counts can be expensive, however the battleforce is a good way of getting large units of skeletons and zombies.

On the Tabletop:
One of the things that best characterises the Vampire Counts army is the fact that it's very hard to make it stay dead. Most units in the army can be replenished and new ones created in the midst of battle. Because every model in the force is Immune to Psychology, you can be sure that your army will act in exactly the way you want it to. Magic plays a large part in a vampire counts army, with a formidable lore of magic your Vampires can slaughter the foe or raise more minions as occasion demands. Forming a horde of Zombies, Crypt Ghouls or Skeletons really isn't very expensive in points, but it is incredibly unnerving to face off against. The Vampire Counts are able to call upon a couple of very large, very dangerous units.

However There's a real risk of your Army General getting killed in a Vampire Counts army. Partly because he's typically your best spellcaster (and the Miscast table is so ferocious), and partly because every enemy model on the table wants him dead. When the General dies, your units quickly start to dissolve and your whole force falls apart. The only thing you can do about this is make sure you don't take any unnecessary risks! Give your general a good save and hope that you can whack your enemy before he draws a bead on your Vampire Lord.

Unit Breakdown:
The special characters available to the VC are fairly nice, Vlad is a powerfull addition to your army and with Isabella by his side they are even better. Mannfred is a powerfull spellcaster who knows all the spells from the lore of vampires and lore of death, however he is rather un-protected. Heinrich Kemmler is my favourite character, mainly because of the nostalgia, but he also has some lovely magic items and knows all the spells in the lore of the vampires. Konrad and Krell are both beasts in combat.
A standard vampire can be equipped for various different roles with a combination of magic items and vampire powers. The necromancer is a good spell caster for refilling your ranks. The Wight king, wraith and banshee all help your meagre skeletons handle combat better. It’s very important that you keep your characters with your units, it helps them survive combats and keeps your characters alive.
For core you have skeletons, unless you have fluff reasons, you should have at least one horde of skeletons every 1000 points, Zombies form great tar pits, Ghouls have gone from being a useless skirmishing unit to a very capable unit with poisoned attacks, dire wolves are good for protecting your flanks or going after war machines.

The vc have some very nice special units, my favourite being the grave guard, a large unit of this combined with a vampire or wight king can ruin anyone’s day, the banner of the barrows is a must have. Everything that applies to the grave guard applies to black knights, and then some. The corpse cart is good for helping your necromancer refill skeletons, especially if you mount him on it, which is an option. Bat swarms are swarms, obviously. Fell bats are good for war machine hunting or taking care of that lone wizard that is proving to be a nuisance. Hexwraiths are a new unit which I haven’t used yet, but there ability to wound the enemy by just running past them seems very nice. The Vargheists are also a new addition to the vampire counts, being flying monstrous infantry that can march because they are vampires is very effective. The crypt horrors are monstrous infantry with poisoned attacks and regenerate.
When we look at rare choices you need to have a clear option in mind, the Varghulf is a lovely little beast, which is also a vampire. The Blood knights are powerful vampire knights, being expensive in points and cost, but are worth it. The black coach is a very old member of the vc army, a terror causing vampiric chariot. The terrorgheist can be taken as a mount for a strigoi lord, it can use a special shooting attack every turn which can inflict up to 18 wounds. The mortis engine a nexus of dark energy that can aid your magic users and cause wounds to the enemy, good choice for a heavy magic oriented army.

How to start:
Ok well I know its very games workshop advice but I really do stand by the battleforce, lots of skeletons and zombies and you get a character in the form of a necromancer on the corpse cart, which is a good start. To build from there is a lot more skeletons and a vampire. By then you should know which direction you wanna go in. there are some really good painting tutorials out there for skeletons and zombies to help you out.

Summary:
· Magic is very important, if you don’t like magic, pick a different army
· Some very cool miniatures, however can be expensive to build necessary hordes
· Painting around 100 skeletons can grow tiresome very quickly, if your looking for a small elite army, look elsewhere
· Big weakness in the army general, which can put some people off
However
· Very nice models and easy effective paint schemes
· Your army will do what you want it to, all the time
· Nice lore of magic, good choice of spells and magic items
· Can replenish your army as you go
· Some good special characters
· In my mind it’s a very good army to start on, iv started and re started on them 3 times now
· And best of all, you get a vampire, what else could be better

If you want more advice, there is a forum that is dedicated completely to vampire counts, good place to check out:
http://www.vampirecounts.net/

Last edited by Tim/Steve; 05-06-12 at 06:55 AM.
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