Welcome to Librarium Online!
Hello fellow green-tinted war-bosses. It is I, Xadrian, master of NG's. Ok, well maybe not master, but a respectably small (and humble ) night goblin big boss. So while definitely not an expert, I am here to give some advice and sneaky tactics to the usage of the infamous Night Goblin Fanatics.
So basically described as weedy, green midget like humanoids, these fanatics are not just ordinary goblins. No, these goblins are high on 'dem shroomz', wielding huge balls at the ends of long chains. Not the kind you would want over to your house. Saying that, these guys can be awesome in your army.
Most other armies have at least some core units with punch. This isn't true with goblins. Their punch comes from special/rare units. Its quite uncommon that a unit of goblins with WS2 S3 hits will kill much, so here you go, fanatics. These guys can, with the correct usage, destroy whole units, whether through straight kills, or combination with panic. May seem all fun right? Well, not really. These guys have their strengths and weaknesses. While they are strong, fast, and deadly, they can also backfire (if you are not used to this yet playing O&G...).
The main problem I see people have when fielding fanatics, is that they don't know how many to use. Sure, D6 S5 armor piercing attacks are great (really great), but these guys get expensive fast. Considering they cost more than 8 goblins, you must make sure that you don't field too many. It isn't uncommon for generals to field 3 fanatics in a unit, doubling its' cost. I normally don't field more than 1-2 per unit in my NG armies, if that.
The basic usage is described in the book, so I won't go into that here, but instead give some sneaky usages and tactics. Ok, so when an enemy unit comes within 8'' of a Night Goblin unit hiding fanatics, they are released. The trick when using fanatics, is to send them off at the time and direction of your choosing. Many smart opponents will use flyers, fast cavalry, or other cheap, small units, to bring out fanatics, quite often in a place/time quite inconvenient for you.
NOTE:When fanatics are release, they are released in the direction and from the side of the unit chosen by the O&G player. Say a canny general activates your fanatics from bringing a unit of theirs from terrain or still inside close enough to trigger them. Instead of having to send your fanatics to their doom in terrain, you can send them off in a different direction, one of your choosing.
Now, on to the dirty tactics (high pitched squeaky voice).
First item: Mad Cap Mushrooms
While an ordinary magic item, I rarely ever see it used. This magic item, which by the way is quite cheap points wise, can be used with some tricksy maneuvers to great success. This item lets you re-roll the D6 when determining how many hits the fanatic will cause when it is first released. While good on its own, this item can be used in conjunction with other sneaky moves to even great success. When combined with the The Poor Buggers Tactic, this item can be amazing. Say you have a unit of yours in combat with an enemies (works best when you have a large insignificant unit, tying up some enemy elite troops). Just bring your fanatic carrier unit, also holding your character with the Mad Cap, being the combat, but within 8''. This will cause your fanatics to be released, and unless you roll very dismally on the 2D6, your fanatic(s) will crash through the combat. Although this will hit your unit as well, worry not, for you have your Mad Cap! Lets say for the sake of it, that you roll a 6 when rolling to hit your unit, and a 2 when rolling for hitting your opponent. Not so nice. BUT WAIT. Suddenly you interrupt your opponents cackling laughter and explain to him that your character's Mad Cap means that you get to re-roll the hits. See if he is still laughing after the rolls have changed in your favor.
This sneaky tactic was given on the 'We Iz Orcs' site by Avian (much thanks).
This one is a bit...iffy. Although perfectly legal, it is borderline. It will be much fought over by your opponent, but is so sneaky, I had to include it.
What you need:
23+ Night Goblins with short bows. Getting the first turn is also very very helpful with this.
Step 1: Deploy them in a long line (single rank) at the foremost of your deployment zone.
Step 2: Next, turn the unit 90 degrees to the left or right. Say for now, turn left.
Step 3: Next, wheel the unit 90 degrees left (can be right also, see above).
You will now end up with you unit facing away from your opponent, but within 8'', releasing your fanatics right into his/her deployment zone.
"Note that the most common objection to this trick is 'models are only allowed to move up to a maximum of twice their Movement value', but that limitation applies to reforming, not to wheeling. The wheel launch is perfectly legal, but relies on exploiting a loop-hole in the abstract way that units in Warhammer wheel."
That's what I have for now, though that might change in the future, depending on if my sneaky self can think of anymore. Feel free to post feedback and also your own tactics for using fanatics. So until then...
<In a very high pitched tiny voice>
"Fiat justitia et pereat mundus"
-Let justice be done, though the world perish.
NG Army (The Very Little WAAAGH) 6-1-0
My favorite move I call Fodder Launch:
-You need a NG squad preferably w/minimum members/upgrades and maximum fanatics
-Also, a cheap, but tasty looking, infantry squad to go with (30ish Orc Boyz is my usual favorite).
Now, park the gobbos right on the ass of the 2nd (fodder) squad and keep them there to the best of your ability (animosity can screw this up, of course). If you can lure your opponent into charging the fodder squad, preferably with some nice juicy knights or chaos warriors or the like, the fanatics will get released and bounce through the fodder squad but even if you roll poorly they will continue 1" outside the fodder squad sending them right into the oncoming enemy squad. You're guaranteed to hit the enemy and more than likely to have the enemy land on the fanatics so they take 2d6 hits per fanatic - your fodder squad gets chewed up, but they only cost 5 points per (or 3 if you pull it off w/gobbos).
Two's to kill. Ahh, sweet sweet music.
wow that is brilliantly sneaky (both tactics)
That wheel launch is 100% illegal. In a wheel the unit pivots on one end and the distance moved is the distance of the furthest model from the point of rotation. You can wheel once while you march, but you still can only move your march distance. There is nothing abstract about wheeling. You just rotate the unit on one point. The objection is not just that the models can only move the march distance, it is that the rules for wheeling are clear on how to measure the distance moved. Sorry to disappoint.
It's perfectly legal, exactly once and then your friends/club/store institute a rule that anyone who attempts it is to be beaten mercilessly with the largest available rulebook.
Picture a unit that's 5 wide and say, 12 ranks deep, 60 models in a standard formation. If they wheel 90 degrees, the front far corner model moves through an arc of around 6.2" as you'd expect. What about the guy all the way at the back of the regiment? His linear displacement is a whooping 14.5"! Now picture it with a regiment that's only one model wide and very deep. The wheel moves through an arc of about 1.5" and that tail end of the line swings all the way across the board.
When wheeling, is there a limit as to how far the last goblin can move?
Nope, only reforming places a restriction on the total displacement of models. You can move models an extremely long way by applying the rules for wheeling as written!
Once i get my army painted up (and actually purchase the bulk of models i need) i want to try the poor buggers and fodder method, but even if the wheel launch is legal thats no fun because thats clearly a huge exploit and i consider that cheating. moving a gobbo all the way across the board.