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Borak alerted me to the fact that there is a Special Character competition on LO, so I thought I'd throw my hat in. First, I'll get your thoughts here though. I know Empire is due to be redone but the comp end before then so I will assume the current edition. In my opinion, a special character has 3 criteria:
1) Must have a reason to want to take him/her: can you build an army around them? Are they any better or different than a build you could make with the non-special character of the same type? Can you still fit what you need in an avg. size game (lvl. 4 wizard, etc.)
2) Must not be a +1: as in, he/she shouldn't be clearly better than the non-special options so that you would always take them over standard choices (for example, Settra is way better than any Tomb King you could build, so everyone just takes him if they want a Tomb King)
3) Must fit fluff-wise and be balanced (and fun to play)
With that said, I give you Heinrich Von Meinkopt. A fun way to take an engineer into the battle on his mechanical steed. I feel the rules are pretty balanced; his weapons are strong but you have to consider that they are all move-or-fire and will take planning to get off effectively. I think he would be fun to take for a laugh. The only thing I don't have down is his points. Is it too high? Too low? Gimme some feedback, LO. Also, fluff to follow.
Heinrich Von Meinkopt
Equipment: Repeater Handgun, Heavy Armour
Heinrich may also be equipped with a repeater pistol (+10 pts.)
Mount: Mechanical Steed
Special Rules: Master of Ballistics, Munitions Expert, Heinrich’s Outriders, Silver Steed
Master of Ballistics: See Empire Rulebook
Munitions Expert: Heinrich carries with him a variety of dangerous and deadly ammunition to deal with any threats. Ironically, he may be of most danger to himself. Instead of firing the repeater handgun as normal, Heinrich may choose to use either Explosive Ammunition or Beast Shot. Both types of unique ammunition are Move-or-Fire as well as Slow to Fire, although the normal Repeater Handgun ammunition can be used to Stand and Shoot as normal.
Beast Shot is a single Strength 5 Armour Piercing shot with an 18” range that causes D3 Wounds.
Explosive Ammunition is a single shot with a 12” range and the Sniper rule. If it hits, center the small round template over the model. Models under the template take a Strength 3 hit Armour Piercing (Strength 5 AP under the hole). Look Out Sir! Rolls may be taken as normal.
Heinrich’s Outriders: Heinrich often rides to battle with a unit of similarly mad Outriders, armed to the saddle with firearms. They harass the enemy’s flanks, causing mayhem and destruction. If Heinrich is included in the army, you may field one unit of 5-10 Heinrich’s Outriders at a cost of 23 points per model. Heinrich’s Outriders follow the same rules as regular Outriders and can be upgraded with a musician, champion and champion’s gear as outlined in the Empire Rulebook, with the single exception that they are equipped with heavy armour. Note that although Heinrich’s mount is technically a barded warhorse and therefore reduces the unit’s Movement to 7, the unit still counts as Fast Cavalry.
Silver Steed: Horses (and most men) are too spooked by the Mechanical Steed Heinrich calls “Ellie” to abide its presence. Also, although Ellie is very good at following orders (for a brainless beast), others are not so quick to take orders from Heinrich. Heinrich may not join mounted units with the exception of Heinrich's Outriders. If he joins any other unit,they may not use his leadership.
Last edited by Jackmoddle; March 24th, 2012 at 22:52.
Honey badger don't care.
I think the weakness for the unique ammunition bit on Munitions Expert is more grounded in fluff than it is in rules - it's a potentially crippling flaw, and that doesn't sit well with me. His price tag as compared to a normal Engineer is high enough to merit no weakness in that ability.
I'd remove it altogether. He doesn't have a Ward save and he costs over twice what a naked Engineer does (and that's how most people field them). He's plenty fair.
New Crons 1000 points painted 6/2/10
Empire WIP unpainted (Averheim black and yellow!)
OK. So, I changed him slightly. Removed the rules downside and reduced his points. I think you are right that his innate killability makes him less likely to be taken. I don't know, would you take him? Would you be more likely to if his Outriders unit rule went away and he got a ward save instead (Some sort of science-y force field generator) or a better armour save?
In my opinion, some people would be willing to take a more pricey engineer who had a better BS (could make the helblaster more accurate) and who can defend the war machines from flankers (or even a monster like a Great Eagle by using Beast Shot). I guess the problem is people wouldn't be inclined to run him away from the war machines, although the Outriders would make a formidable war machine defense.
Last edited by Jackmoddle; March 24th, 2012 at 22:59.
Honey badger don't care.
OK, so I'm noticing you may not share my interest in a kooky Master Engineer hero. I guess that's pretty reasonable. I have a couple more special character ideas rattling around, so I'll share them and see if you prefer them. Whichever one you prefer will be the one I put forward for the comp.
One of my frustrations with the current Empire book is the weakness of archers and huntsmen. Obviously all archers got nerfed by 8th. However, it's a big blow to themed armies from places like Hochland, where the hunters are top notch and supposed to be a big part of the fluff. I thought I'd make a character that gives access to a more useful unit of hunters that could have some success in guerilla warfare.
M WS BS S T W I A LD
4-5 -5- 4- 4- 2-5-3-8
Equipment: Longbow, Pair of Throwing Axes, Light Armour
Special Rules:Master Hunter, Guerilla Warfare, Hood’s Huntsmen
Master Hunter: Baruchel is the consummate marksman, able to deliver the death blow to any target with a single shot. He can release deadly accurate shots with incredible speed. Baruchel Hood’s ranged attacks have the Killing Blow special rule. In addition, when firing with his Longbow or Hunting Axes, he has the Multiple Shots (2) rule but does not suffer the -1 penalty for Multiple Shots.
Hood’s Huntsmen: If Baruchel Hood is included in the army, you may include one unit of Hood’s Huntsmen at 13 points per model. This is in addition to the one unit of Huntsmen normally allowed. Hood’s Huntsmen are Huntsmen with +1 Ballistic Skill and Longbows, and have the Forest Strider special rule. Their ranged attacks have the Killing Blow special rule.
Guerilla Warfare: Baruchel has the Forest Strider and Scout special rules. He may only join units with the Militia special rule. Units shooting at Baruchel or the unit he is with are at an additional -1 to Hit. In addition, he and his unit have the Feigned Flight special rule.
So, the main questions include: Is the cost right? Are Hood's Huntsmen priced right? I know they are cheap compared to, say, Waywatchers, but their cost is also somewhat included in Hood's price. And the cost of archers is far too high this book, considering how cheap you can get night goblins with poisoned shots. I think giving skirmisers the Feigned Flight rule is the single best way of keeping them out of harm from charges. They can just turn around and shoot again, as they should be able to. Finally, is Killing Blow too much or too little? I know Poisoned shots are much more dangerous for, say, war machine hunting, but the fluff doesn't fit for that. Anyway, enough from me, C&C welcome!
Last edited by Jackmoddle; April 2nd, 2012 at 16:01.
Honey badger don't care.
Holy mother of squishiness, man. That Hero is made out of glass. I'm actually a big fan of the rules you came up with for him, though. He paints a more evocative image than your previous entry.
I just had a thought though- I could include something in their Guerilla Warfare rule that is similar to gnoblar trappers, what with dangerous terrain checks being taken by a charging enemy. Could represent booby traps and snares. Might have to increase the points though.
Honey badger don't care.
I really like your Baruchel Hood character I think you have put him together really well.
IMO i don't think he needs to have a ward save maybe some magical resistance but the squishyness actually adds to the feel of the character. He is not meant to get into CC he is designed to hang around on the flanks and hit hard from afar maybe going for a flank or rear charge in the late game.
"my heart pump gangsta"