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I've decided to write down my impressions on the Warriors of Chaos units, largely as a way to formalize my thoughts and see whether they make sense. Then I thought, why not post it on the internet?
This assessment is written from the basis that there are 3 types of WoC list. Blitz list, which is composed of fast moving hard hitters and tries to win on turn 2/3 with a series of titanic assaults, general list, which has some of everything and has no real game plan, just reacting to the enemy's deployments and getting in combat whenever/wherever, and blaster list, which maxes the magic phase.
Uber Lords (600+ points):
He's the Lord of the End Times, the Everchosen, but is he the best Lord choice?
Ok, first off, the baggage. Archaon brings with him his old drinking buddies from the Chaos Wastes, the Swords of Chaos. A unit of Chaos Knights is not a bad unit, so it's no hardship to bring them along, but being ITP is a fail for a fear causing unit in a ld 10 general's army and not letting any other heroes join them is vexing. Lastly, Archaon needs to roll alone to get max benefit from his steed's move through terrain. Basically, I'd recommend deploying and using them seperately in most cases. Hammer + Hammer = Hammer, and you want them hitting in 2 places.
Now to examine Archaon himself. The first thing you'll notice is that his offense isn't quite as overwhelming as one would imagine from his price tag and rather exalted rep. He doesn't have hatred, he doesn't have KB, he doesn't have a multi-wound weapon and his strength is an ordinary 5. His steed adds a few more s5 attacks in the picture, but he's still not a first class attacker.
Releasing U'zuhl improves things quite a bit, but you still looking at a fairly underwhelming attack profile. He'll swing 10 times, hit the enemy 7 and himself once, wound the enemy 5, and they'll ward save one or two. He's a Lord killer, certainly, but I just expect more hit from someone with his price tag. Rate him a solid B+ for hitting power. He's not quite top-tier, but very close.
Now, on defense, he's pretty much the same. He rocks a 1+ armor save and a 3+ ward save, and has the special rule that the best you can wound him on is a 3+. Further, the enemy has a -1 to hit him in melee or missile fire, due to his souped up MoN. The only thing he's lacking is immunity to KB/multiple wound weapons.
To put that in perspective, it would take like two hundred ogre great weapon attacks to kill him (1/6 to hit, 2/3 to wound, 1/2 to get past armor, 1/3 to get past ward). He's extremely rugged, it's only in comparison to the game's resiliency superstars (Dwarf Lord kitted for invincibility, Dreadlord kitted for invincibility) that he suffers. He can catch a KB or a cannon shot, and then he's only got his 3+ to fall back on.
His leadership is top notch. He's ld 10 with 18", and he's also the BSB. It'd be nice if he could make his nearest unit stubborn or something, but there's no flies on this.
He's also got great mobility. Dorghar moving through terrain is actually probably better than flying. He's got the range he needs, and he's got no business galavanting around as a flier anyway. I'd put his range at top tier.
So we've got the guy who can do everything at the very top of the game. There are whole lists that Archaon can beat. Is he the best you can do with the points?
Well, basically, he costs as much as a fully kitted out Hero/BSB + Lord. and then some. He doesn't hit nearly as hard as they do, he has much better defense and he gives better leadership. I'd say he's lacking for a blitz list, where only offense matters, but I think he's as good or better than basic Lord/heroe for a general list. Obviously, he's got no place in a blaster list.
You have to be careful when using Archaon, though, that you don't spend a preposterous amount on characters. He only uses a Lord slot, so if you go on and grab a full character complement you have like 1200 points in 4 guys. When you add in the Swords of Chaos you had better be a fan of marauders, as even a little bit of Chaos Armor will see you fielding more of a squad than an army.
Ugh, it's Kairos' little brother.
Galrauch suffers from the classic WHFB problem of trying to do two things, and failing at both. He wants to be a caster and a dragon, and he certainly is both of those things, but he's very mundane about it.
As a caster, he's seriously deficient. His good thing is that he gets the MoT and the whole spell list. That's decent, but this is WoC. There are amazing arcane items and daemonic gifts, and he doesn't make up for not having any of them on your Lord.
As a dragon, he's similarly meh. He's a chaos dragon with improved initiative, bs, and other skills that don't matter. A profile of straight 6's is impressive, but without any special rules to back it up beyond terror, flight and 3+ armor/6+ ward save he's not really a heck of a Lord.
I mean, let's compare him to a Sorcerer Lord on a dragon. Give him the spell familiar and the MoT. Now he's basically the same guy, for a hundred points or so less, and he's got 2 wound pools (Caster + mount) which can cut either way. He's also got points left over for all the good arcane items and gifts that make a WoC caster amazing.
Further, let's look at the emo-test. I mean, honestly! Stupidity is bad enough, but he still has to test in combat! Further, he might wound himself. Worse yet, he might wound himself in combat and contribute to the opponent's CR. Ridiculous.
He does have the breathe of chaos, but that's not nearly enough to make up for his manifold deficiencies as warrior and wizard. He has no place in any WoC list, unless it's theme.
Kholek is an unholy monster, and currently the game of WHFB isn't really ready for him.
Let's get it straight, this is the best blitzer in the codex, maybe in the whole game. He compares favorably to a Bloodthirster, and if he meets one that left its obsidian armor at home he can let it charge him and beat it to death.
The best thing about him, obviously, is his preposterous profile. 3 8's, in stats that matter, is just about as good as it gets. No, I'll go further. It is as good as it gets. It's the best profile in the game. Move 8, s 8, 8 wounds. That, right there, is monstrous, but it gets more absurd.
He's got t6, which is usual for a monster, but he backs this up with a 2+ armor save and a titanic weapon skill, in start contrast to most of the big guys, and he's got a 2+ armor save to keep off the skink blowpipe darts or whatever. 7 attacks is also rather severe.
And then he's got a magic hammer! He's already grinding stuff underfoot, and somehow he felt the need to get a d3 wound weapon.
His shooting attack not needing to roll to hit and having no limit to its range is icing on the cake. You can use that to force enemies into his charge range, just walk him out in front of the army and start zapping their dragon. Their Lord won't take that for long, unless he's a vampire or has some other way of healing up.
Importantly, he's fully under your control unless you, or the enemy, zaps him. He's not stupid, or frenzied, or under any other kind of movement compulsion. He's an ITP terror causer with move 8, large target for seeing over stuff, and monster wheeling.
There's really not much more to say about him. He's an enormous monster that crushes everything. He can protect your army from lightning magic if you are up against the lizzies, but whatever, they won't be casting long when he's wiping them off his hammer. He's the best Lord for a blitz list, and does just fine in a generalist list. He's obviously no blaster.
Last, important note, he has a thermal exhaust port. He's initiative 1. Pit of shades or the skaven's Brass Orb will ruin your day, and a giant Thumping with Club will hurt. Mitigate these risks and he'll do you good.
Siggy is eminently single-purpose. He's about leading a unit of infantry and being a tough guy in the center of your army. It's a useful task, and one he excels at.
First off, his best stuff. He's ld 10 and stubborn. If there's a BSB nearby his unit has a 1/144 chance of breaking before the last man falls. Ld 10 on the general is not to be despised.
He's also much more rugged than you'd expect from a Slaaneshi. 1+ save and regen. Fierce. He's no Archaon, but he's not going down easy, except for the glaring vulnerability to KB.
He's also got ASF...but it's mediocre. 7 high ws s5 attacks won't kill an attacking character that has any business charging a Lord. It'll pull 3 or 4 wounds off attacking infantry, but once again no one will send anything but a char killer charging Siggy.
His mobility stuff is so much glitz and glitter. He's a foot slogger, and he's going to be the general. He can't get away from the center to go around in terrain without hurting the army's leadership, and he can't march far enough to do all that much. It'll be useful occasionally, but in general he'll be in a block, and fight as blocks do, in a line, facing front.
So, though he's single purpose, I think that purpose is insufficient to justify his pricetag. He doesn't fight as hard as I want from a Chaos Lord choice, and ld 10 is nice, but not such an improvement on 9 that I'd take my Lord off a barded steed for it. His big selling point is stubborn for one unit, and that's just not enough for double lord points and loss of fighting skill.
Stupidity at 10 is rare enough that I don't count it against him. He simply doesn't hit hard enough to justify the loss of mobility. I'd prefer to have a Chaos Lord and BSB, even without stubborn.
Finally, the blaster guy.
When reading Vilitch's fluff I was initially worried he was going to be a Galrauch-esque hybrid. The whole bit about Thomin screamed out fighting wizard lord, which usually doesn't go too well.
Fortunately, that's apparently just theme. The only manifestation of the fighting is that he's got a decent profile and 2 hand weapons. You are pretty much paying just for the casting. He's got the Mark of Tzeentch, all 6 spells, and the all-important dice-fu.
With his ability to take enemy's failed dice and use them against them, Vilitch insures domination of the magic phase. He can cast till he runs out of spells. Now, granted, he's no Kairos, so he actually will run out of spells, but dice aren't usually a problem, so long as the enemy is trying (and failing, thanks Skull of Katan/MoT) to dispel his stuff.
He's up against stiff competition in the Sorcerer Lord, but I think he manages to close the deal. He's only a hundred points more expensive, less if the guy has gifts, and his dice fu frees up the rest of the list from taking the magic items that basically do the same thing.
It's also worth pointing out that VC's and Ogres, ie armies that cast constantly and don't mind failing 1/3 of their casts, will find themselves in deep trouble vs. Vilitch. I've seen Manfred lists fail 6 or 7 casts in a single magic phase.
I can't say he's actually better than a Sorcerer Lord, but that speaks more to the SL's goodness than Vilitch's weakness. Either is a great Lord choice for a blaster list.
Wow, a Khornate Valkyrie. That's just a cool concept.
A quick glance reveals that Valkia is the Super-Lord version of Archaon. She's fighty, enduring, mobile and leadership in equal measure, though in all cases somewhat less than he.
On offense she's got 6 s7 ws ++ KB attacks. Obviously, that's preposterously good. It's situational as to whether Archaon's ignores armor saves or her KB is better, but I'd at least say she's in the ballpark. Further, this is roughly what a Chaos Lord kitted to char kill puts out.
On defense she initially looks unimpressive, with a 2+ save instead of the 1+ everyone else has and no regen or ward save, but she makes up for it by subtracting 1 from the enemy's strength and 1 from their attacks. Aside from a notable vulnerability to KB this is pretty good defense, esp. when combined with a weapon skill high enough to ensure that nobody hits on 3's.
As for speed, she's a flier. It doesn't get any faster. On the other hand, she can't really pal around with anyone but foot sloggers, but she's always threatening to zip out and dice somebody.
Leadership-wise, she's got Chaos Lord leadership, and she gives off the BSB aura. Good stuff. She's also a fear-causer, which helps out whichever unit she's chilling in.
Her biggest weakness is that her offensive power (unlike Arky's) falls to nill when she gets charged. Further, I've already noted her lack of any kind of ward save or regen. Ordinarily this is made up for by her shield and armor, but against any kind of one-shot kill she's left hoping.
Ultimately, I'd say she's the best for the balanced army if you want to go the super-Lord route, but ponying up the extra bits to buy Archaon, or sliding down to get a Lord is probably more competative than the middle of the road.
The Chaos Lord is the perfect storm of a warrior character.
First off, great mundane gear. He's got a 4+ save built in, and grabbing a barded horse and a shield get him down to a 1+ before he takes a gander at the magic items. This is non-trivial.
Next, he's got an astounding variety of mounts to choose from. Honestly it makes the other lords look like hobos. Let's take a look at each one.
First off, let's get the bad ones out of the way.
The Palanquin of Nurgle is wretchedly bad. The only thing I can see going for it is that it looks awesome, and it occupies the squares of like 6 chaos warriors, so you can get a big rank bonus in a small unit. Otherwise, it doesn't improve your move and the attacks are wretchedly bad.
The Slaaneshi thingy is similarly bad. Move 20 is great, but nobody can keep up with that. As tough as Chaos Lords are, you dno't want to go it alone. Further, there's no barding on that thar beasty, and that hurts the Armor save. The only real use I can see for it is to keep your Lord up with a marauder cav unit, but who wants to?
The Tzeentchy disk is another example of a unit from another codex sneaking in. A flying mount for your Lord is a fine idea, but the Dragon and Manticore are the right way to do this, not the US 1 disk. The Lord needs to be part of units, in there and swinging, or flying around on his own and crushing whole units. The Disk is more for sorcerers and the like, who need to bail out of units that are about to get smashed, and avoid warmachine line of fire.
Finally, with the Juggernaught, we get to something that needs a second look. It's attacks are frankly serious, GoGo KB, and frenzy with KB is obviously not atrocious. I just hesitate to put it on your general, despite the bonus to armor save. This sort of thing kind of necessitates him hiding behind the army to keep from getting baited out, then jumping in after the enemy stalls on your lines. I'd want my Lord in the front, swinging from the start. Still, no flies on this guy.
EDITED: It doesn't have KB. Aww...thinking of my Herald I just presumed they are similar. That's much worse. I'll think on withdrawing my recommendation for the dude.
The Daemon Steed is pretty good. I don't find the attacks compelling though, prefer to pay a little less and still get most of the bonuses from...
The Barded Mount. An economical 2 to armor save and high movement, w/out keeping you out of units or making you frenzied. This is my choice for the generalist Lord.
The Manticore is my choice for the blitzer. It doesn't hit as hard vs. rank and file as the dragon, nor does it take hits as well, but it kills characters much better, and ld 9 is enough to keep it under control in the rare rounds you don't want to charge.
The Dragon is a dragon. We've all seen them before, and he's duly ferocious. As mentioned, I prefer the Manticore, but it's hard to go wrong with a flying terror causer Lord. The 2 Breathe weapons are just bling though, the wounds it adds to the Lord's charge, and the rank breaking, are the key to these things, breathing is just something you do while you come back on the table from running dudes down.
Lastly the chariot. Basically, I think the Juggernaught is better for this kind of work. They operate shockingly similarly, hiding around behind the army and then jumping in on a corner, but due to the chaos challenge rule I think the jugger's KB is better than the chariot's impact hits, at least on Lords. The chance of a cannonball stealing your ride is also worth noting, and the easy KB an enemy with s5 and a GW can farm off you.
So that's how I see it, barded steed for the generalist, manticore for the blitzer. Now let's get to the meat of these guys.
Beyond the armor, Chaos Lords conceal the meanest US 1 non-SC statline in the whole game. They are tougher than Vampire Lords, straight up. The excellent statline allows proper use of the armory, which is even better.
WoC are spoiled for choice when it comes to magic items.
The weapons that I think are worthwhile are the Flaming Sword, the Father of Blades, the Axe of Khorne, the Glaive of Putrefecation and the Whip of Subversion. The first build I'd like to recommend is combining one of them with the Helm of Many Eyes.
Helm of Many Eyes + Flame Blade is the simplest killy setup for the Chaos Lord. The flames beat regen and the wound multiplier obliterates anything you hit. A Lord with this setup can ride out of a unit into a band of maneaters and kill them all. Not run them down, slaughter them. He can take a Tyrant's charge and lop his head clean off, or take about half of Kholek's wounds off. He's got a weakness to things that are immune to fire, but they are rare, and that's it.
The best armor is the Armor of Damnation, which makes you reroll successful attack rolls. Combining this with the Father of Blades (and an amulet of protection + MoT, for those who want to go the extra mile) leaves you with a character that's nigh-invincible. They have a 9/36 chance to hit you, and an 11/36 chance to hit themselves, so long as their ws is between 4 and 8.
The glaive and the whip are best left to Heroes, I think, as your Lord doesn't want to leave enemies alive long enough for their effects to work. The Axe of Khorne, on the other hand, has a brute simplicity to it that everyone can appreciate. Heads Come Off!
The Helm of Regen is obviously a generally nice item, combine it with a weapon and you have a more balanced Lord.
So those are my recommendations for the Lord's equip loadout. Helm of Eyes + either Axe of Khorne + talisman of protection or Flame Blade for a slasher lord. Worth noting is that taking the Flame Blade leaves the axe free for your heroes. Alternatively, the Father of Blades/Armor of Damnation combo is an attractive one.
As far as Gifts go, I'm not fond of any of them. Non give you a hand when you are in the line swinging at the foe, which is where your Lord will be most of the time. Leave em for the DPs.
In terms of Marks, I'd say either Tzeentch or Slaanesh. Khorne takes control of your general, might as well have the jugger if you went for that one, Nurgle only affects enemies who have ws 4, which means they aren't characters, which means they won't hurt your Lord or ws 9, which means they are Skulltaker, and your head is coming off.
The breakdown is Slaanesh if you are in a unit, so you can charge when/where you want, but still flee if necessary, and Tzeentch if you are on a Manticore/Dragon, and laying the smack down.
The Sorcerer Lord is almost as fierce as the Lord, in their own, way. They will, however, all look very similar.
First off, SL's either go on Disks or in units, no real middle ground. Putting them on anything else is confusing their role. As leader of a blaster list, they hang with the guy holding the Skull, and rain Tzeentchy doom on their foes.
Why Tzeentch? +1 to cast and the level 1 and 6 spells in their Lore. Nurgle is also prety good, Slaanesh is not effective vs. Daemons plus vampires.
Basically all the Arcane items are good (except warrior familiar, wtf?). The other Sorcs need to grab the items that help the pool, the SL needs to grab the items that help him.
Each round his desired pattern is to throw 5 dice (+2 for skull from a minion and his mark) at the Gate and suck down an enemy scroll. If he miscasts his bud helps out with the puppet so he doesn't explode or end the magic phase. With that out of the way he can throw the flickering fire and/or the banshee spell or the treason. You don't want him using the ld hex, as its remains in play, and the one that makes an exalted hero usually isn't so helpful.
EDIT: Not really any grand gifts for a Sorcerer Lord either. Bleagh.
Lastly, note that the fact that he can have armor/shields shouldn't be construed for it being a good idea to take them. If he gets into combat he'll get mulched, however you've kitted him. You bought him to cast, so have him and his 3 buddies get to it. Rain fire on the enemy!
Ugh. THIS is the end result of the process the Lords strive for? Weak.
They've got the same profile as the Lord before his "exaltation"...but they've thrown aside their gear and mounts for...US 3, flight, terror, 5+ ward save and stubborn.
Oh, and one less leadership. Awesome. As though this wasn't bad enough. And they cost more than the Chaos Lords? GW, is this a typo?
They get more points to put in the gifts, and their are a couple they can use to have shooting attacks or whatever, but nothing makes up for the lack of magic weapons in combat.
They can get to be level 4 mages, but then they are up in super-Lord territory for points, and they aren't as good as any of them. They don't cast as well as the Sorcerer Lord, or fight as well as the Exalted hero w/gear, and they cost more than either of them. They are mini-Galrauch's. Bleagh.
Heroes next time:
Last edited by 40kenthusiast; February 20th, 2009 at 03:42.
I did not read the special character stuff as i dont use them and not interested, sorry.
I have to disagree with your points on the Steed of Slanaesh and the Discs of Tzeentch.
They are both great wizard/skirmish/fast cav/war machine hunters and the lord is good enough to do it all by himself. They can have a role its just not ideal and mainly better used by exalteds
Juggers the problem with the beast is you need to mark of khorne to use it, do you really want your lord frenzied and draged by the nose all over the battlefield? Also WoC juggers do not have KB only DoC ones.
You have said nothing on the other lores Sorcerer lords can take, they do not have to be marked. Fire, Death, Shadow and Heavens all have very useful places against the right army and makes for a very flexible caster.
Daemon Princes: Do you want to field a sorcerer lord and a Chaos lord but cant? Do you want an option for both for less points? Sure you can take a lord that can fight better or a Sorcerer Lord that can get about the same as the DP but fights worse. BTW with Tendrils a lvl 4 DP will cast more accurately (and dispel for that matter) than a sorcerer lord.
Again there is a place for a DP its a terror causer, its stubborn, it can have a 4+ ward save and cast all but one spell in its list while in combat (Tzeentch). More importantly it has more wounds than a exalted that you claim it fights better than a DP.
As you may have guessed i love my DP, it has never died on me (last game it had a prince on a chariots missiled at it, then a tomb scorpion missiled at it and on the last turn went into a challenge with the tomb king with destroyer and not only survived but the king crumbled to res.), it always makes back its points and them some (quiet a feat considering mine costs 555 points). I have not used a lord yet as i love magic, The only reason i would take a lord is for the LD9 and thats all. When i use a sorcerer lord i find that having nearly 400 points not fighting to be a waste and when he does fight a disappointment and an exalted would do the job better..
Special characters: Fair enough, I think they are great.
Steeds: Precisely, they have roles that the Lords shouldn't be used for. Thus, I dismiss them from consideration in my examination of the Lords.
Juggernaught: Good catch, edited.
Sorcerer's w/out Tzeentch lores: Look, why turn down the +1 to cast that comes with a ward save and a great lore full of goodness for book lores. They've got one good spell each, and the opponent just has to watch and dispel it. Tzeentch is the way to go. Nurgle is debatable, but book lores are simply no contest. They don't have the Gate.
DP: He might cast better than a sorcerer (debatable) but he maims the magic item capacity of the total character ensemble. If you want a Wizard and a Lord, stop dreaming and choose one, or play 3000. The DP is rubbish. He can't fight for anything, and if you build him to cast he costs more than the mage could ever dream of. All that and he's not US 1 so he lacks all round line of sight and his leadership is only 8. Guh. You spent 555 points on a guy who can't beat a unit of empire swordsman in combat.
2010 WoC Cav W/L/D - 7/3/1
Good work There are some things I don't agree with like the demon prince but a nice overview of the lords and you get rep for that
Daemonic cheese-how? Well, you would need to start with daemonic milk, i guess...
Fair enough, DP fans. We are going to have to agree to disagree. I'll concede that the new model is excellent, though.
Throgg is a very interesting character, because he has to be considered in terms not only of his own profile, but also of the effects he has on the force org composition.
First off, let's consider him in his own right, as a character in an army not particularly devoted to getting the most bang out of him.
Well, he's got a good statline. He's 2 points of WS lower than the Exalted Hero and his init is rubbish, but he has a higher strength and 2 more wounds. He's also move 6, a fear causer and regenerates. All good stuff.
He's also got the d6 wound vomit (which is fantastic, gives him an average of 2 or 3 kills vs. t4 of any armor value, impressive for a hero), and once a game it can be made into a breathe weapon of troll vomit. This breathe weapon, by the by, is one of the more impressive I've ever seen.
EDIT: He does NOT suffer from stupidity, thanks!
So, taken as a character we get a hero who is roughly as fighty as a comparable exalted hero, but has more durability and less movement. However, he needs to hang vaguely close to the general until he gets stuck in. I give him the nod basically on behalf of his not needing any of your magic weapons. On my last hero I run rather dry.
If you include other troll/ogre/monster units, however, his value rises sharply. First off, stupidity on an 8 is perfectly acceptable for frontliners, you want them wandering forward anyway. If you deploy Throgg and some trolls somewhere you basically want them to move forward to engage the enemy, and one way or anther they will. Space them out so that none will wander into each other during the compulsory move phase, and don't march anyone out of his bubble if he goes stupid himself, and you've got a 2 general army.
The warriors (team killy) have a general and BSB and can sweep around the flank. The trolls (team tarpit) have a general and BSB in Throgg and just move towards the enemy. Terrain permitting, you can actually do a two-army pincer maneuver on your foe. Having one relatively inexpensive hero who can function as BSB and General for a subsection of your army is excellent.
Trolls as Core is less valuable. WoC isn't starved for good Core, but if you want them anyway you might as well make them core so you won't run out of slots for chariots/knights.
Fair warning, I may be biased in Throgg's favor, as I play an entirely Throgg themed army.
Nonetheless, I recommend Throgg as a 4th hero if you don't want a scroll caddy in your generalist list. He's too slow for a blitz list, and doesn't fit in a blaster list, but he can do just fine in a generalist list, particularly one that throws him a few monster buddies.
Guh, so close. He seems so awesome. He's a wizard who buffs a unit. Gold! Then you start to pay close attention, and he falls off a bit.
Festus is a very interesting character, with lots of spurious stuff thrown in to obscure the true nature of his selction.
First off, he's a level 2 mage, which blasters need from a hero slot. He gets Curse of the Leper, which is a pretty bad spell, but the other can be traded for the excellent first level Nurgle spell.
He can't carry any of the magic gear that is in the WoC list, though, and he can't even have a dispel scroll or the like. That's a big hit against him,as the WoC magic toys are invaluable, and you need pretty much all of your guys allotment to get them.
In exchange for that lack, however, he soups up one of your units, big time. Regen (even bad regen) and poison attacks on a WoC unit is amazing. The fact that he an bail from the unit and augment another if it gets too chewed up is also useful.
This is primarily shooting protection, however, as he's goint to get chopped as soon as the enemy gets to melee combat. There's no way to keep the enemy from chopping the only guy in all the WoC who didn't bring his chaos armor, even with regen. In particular the fact that EotG requires that Festus issue a challenge every round makes keeping him safe impossible. The hope is that their hero can't kill a regenerating wizard in the one round it takes unit to poison and regen their way to a victory. Obviously the odds of that depends on the hero.
His nerf of the pursuit move is somewhat meh-worthy. If you breaking someone you can usually do so again by charging them after they rally, or you'll have someone behind them. Similarly the double VPs' for catching someone is unlikely to be achieved anytime.
In my final analysis I say he's got a place in a blaster unit, augmenting either the bunker unit or the primary goalie unit. He's got the Nurgle "here, have a wound" spell, so he'll pull 2 dispel dice a turn. That, combined with his protection, is enough.
Now, it's a cliche of tactica, but I'm going to fall back on it. This guy's usefulness is situational.
Against a gunline having a Marauder unit with a character in it (albeit a lackluster one) show up behind the enemy is dynamite. Against a general list it's still good, he can come up right behind the warmachine hill. Against a blitz list its useless.
As a character, Wulfrik leaves much to be desired. He comes with a lackluster unit, so they need him in their and swinging to get any CR vs. serious foes, but he's armed with hw, shield and chaos armor. He's just not going to do too much.
Against his chosen prey he's fiercer, but he sort of falls into the uncanny valley, of not hitting hard/fast enough to overwhelm a fighting Lord, and already having the fighting ability to take a wiz to town. Also, choosing a prey is sort of tipping your hand as to where you want him to go. I'd use it as a decoy.
Basically, he and his unit are war machine/archer killers. They have a 2/3 chance of coming in by your second turn. That's good sometimes, bad others. Exalted Champions and Sorcerers are good all the time. I think a take-all-comers list can't afford Wulfrik. If only he came with a unit of Marauder horsemen...
Much like the Chaos Lord, the Exalted champ is amazing.
I'm not going to repeat the discussion of equipment that I did for the Lord, though I should note that the champ's gear is cheaper. His marks are also similar, though Khorne is more attractive as him rushing about doesn't hurt so bad.
For Mounts, the Champ can't ride a dragon or manticore, but as he's not responsible for providing leadership I can see him on some of the odder ones.
He can warmachine/skirmisher hunt on a disk or Steed of Slaanesh, and he can even be in a unit of Marauder Cav if he uses the steed.
He can use the Jug w/out worrying so much about its frenzy, as him zipping out from behind the lines to spear into some enemies isn't so bad.
He's also a mean guy to put on a chariot. Lurking behind the lines to pop in on a corner and break the scrum in your favor is a time honored hero technique.
With his lower magical item limit he's basically only going to have a weapon. Axe of Khorne, Chaos Runeblade, Glaive, Whip, all the usual suspects. He can take the Armor of Zh-whatever to be immune to KB/Poison, since he isn't the general anyway.
None of the trinkets or talismans really justify not taking a weapon. You want Exalted Champs in the line stomping, not doing random other stuff. Mount up, grab your enchanted hitty thing and get in there.
It's worth noting that Chaos doesn't really have any fantastic banners for the BSB. Nothing that justfies the lack of a magic weapon. I think its worthwhile to spend the base BSB cost to make one of them carry the army standard, but he should just have a magic weapon like the rest.
The Sorcerers are here to support the casting Lord's magic phase, or they are here as a token scroll caddy.
The only mounts I'd really consider for these guys are the Disks of Tzeentch. Flying wizards are good. Worth the cost? I'm not so sure.
The scroll caddy is the same in every army since the dawn of time, and he doesn't change in this one. Scroll him up.
The blaster sorcerers have a much more interesting loadout. They are each responsible for bringing their own dice, plus a piece or so of wargear to help the phase. They usually get the MoT.
The Infernal Puppet is the must-have from WoC, more to protect your own mages from miscast than to mess others up. Your primary goals are to avoid killing your own mage and/or ending the magic phase (though sometimes turning one into an Irrestistable Force is worth the loss of the spell) Even a one point manipulation would be fine for that, d3 is for blowing up enemy mages. All this from one cheap item.
Power Familiar is good, as the dice in the pool can be used by the Lord. Skull of Katan is amazing, put that in your mage bunker unit and everyone's casting at +2. Blood of Tzeentch is more for the Lord's use, but if he's busy being Vilitch or something you can pass it around. Rod of Torment is alright, if you've run out of other stuff, same category as the Blasted Standard, more bound items they won't have the dispel dice to block.
Next up: Core
Last edited by 40kenthusiast; February 23rd, 2009 at 16:08.
The WoC Core section doesn't contain any units that I'd never field, but it does have several units that sort of compete for the same slot. It's a nice change to be able to get value from Core, rather than them being the tax you pay to play an army made of specials and characters.
For starters, I examined the only core choice that doesn't actually count as one. The Chaos Warhounds compare favorably to units that fulfill their function in most armies.
Their role in life is obvious, cheap charge redirectors, march blockers, frenzy baiters and flankers. A unit of 5 of them is the cheapest unit you can buy in the book, and pulls a frenzy charge just as well as anything more expensive, with the possible exception of marauder horsemen.
They've got adequate movement for their purposes, and they have Will of Chaos to obviate the lack of MoS. They can't fight very well, and their leadership is bad, but since you want them to flee when charged it's not such a huge deal.
They are fine for their job, fully satisfactory. It should go without saying that both of their upgrades, which relate to combat, should be avoided. Their selling point is their price. They'll never win combat, so spending points trying is counter-productive.
I notice a lot of lists that don't have any blocks of marauders, which seem strange to me. These guys are all right.
First off, they are the cheapest way to get a core slot out of the way. Grab 10 and that's one slot down. If you are playing a special/rare list you may want to pursue this option, as a min-sized Marauder unit can still perform most of the functions of a full block.
Next, they are actually quite useful, despite their cheap price tag. I like to think of them as slightly more expensive skaven slaves. They've still got full static res, minus the banner you probably don't want to buy them. No Cav unit will want to take a flank charge from them, so they can be used for flanking purposes.
They also take wounds as well as anything else. Put them in a line in front and they'll block enemy LOS. Let them take the chariot's charge and break, so your actual fighters can deal with it on your turn. If the enemy is dead set on magic missiling you, you can advance on their wizards with marauder units to force them to target a bit closer to home.
They can take Marks, obviously, and the compelling mark for them is MoS. The only way a redirector/flanker can fail to do their job, the only roles they have to make, are fear/terror/panic tests. A mark as cheap as MoS that obviates that need is a must buy.
These guys are the all-stars of the role that Marauders and Warhounds compete for.
They are fast cav, so they can go anywhere and set up at any angle. They aren't ITP, so they can flee. While they are slightly more expensive than the other core choices, it isn't immeasurable, and being perfectly maneuverable is a quantifiable advantage.
If you want to use them as, essentially, better warhounds, the MoS is once again the way to go. With it you know where they will be, all the time, and they don't become ITP, which would defeat their point. The base 5 man unit with MoS and a musician is classic, and will give satisfaction.
In addition, there's the oft mentioned option of giving them flails and the MoK. I'm somewhat iffy on this concept. The point of a Light cav unit is that you are controlling the enemy's movement. You harass, threaten their war machines, etc. If you put MoK on them, they lose that ability. You can't be a viable flanker if you go hurtling in before the main line gets their, and they certainly can't win a combat with a real enemy unit, despite MoK and flails. In addition, the MoK and flails together nearly double the unit's cost. I'm not a fan.
WoC has a fine heavy cav unit in the Knights, we don't need Marauder Cav to aspire to the same duty. Frenzy is like ITP, it removes much of the appeal for a fast cav unit, and gives the enemy an easy way to handle them. I think Marauder Horsemen should be used as the first class redirectors/flankers they are.
If you are playing a balanced Chaos List the Chaos Warriors will likely be the meat of your army, the location where most of your points get soaked up.
I'm of the opinion that they are the best infantry blocks in the game. The excellent save, the ability to take WoC characters in their and the high profile and comparatively low cost are their selling points, along with the excellent plastic figures.
A WoC unit is already expensive, if it is expanded to the size of a full block it is extremely so. I'm of the belief that no WoC block should be allowed to roam around without a character in the mix. A WoC character in a block of well equipped and marked WoC can take a charge from most anything in the game without flinching. The same block w/out a character, by contrast, can be ripped apart by an enemy Lord/Dragon combo, for whom the Chaos Warriors might as well be marauders.
When it comes to equipping the unit, it's important to remember that the character will be doing the lion's share of the damage. The role of the unit is to add static resolution, and not suffer damage in return. For this reason, I'm of the school of thought that hand weapon and shield is the way to go. You can increase the damage output of the unit with the other weapons, but HW and shield nearly doubles the unit's ability to withstand enemy damage, and their movement is low enough that I'm dubious as to how often they'll get the charge.
I'm not fond of any of the magical standards that the units can be equipped with. The blasted banner is worthwhile in a blaster list, just because the enemy will never be able to dispel it, but the rest aren't terribly helpful. The rapturous standard is needed if you lose combat, but you shouldn't. The banner of frenzy is just flat out bad, as your core units need to be under your control. The Nurgle banner causes wounds that don't count towards CR. None of these are terribly thrilling. I think the best banner to take for a block of Chaos Warriors is the good old War Banner, to ensure the enemy flees. Obvioiusly, MSU style units of Chaos Warriors shouldn't have a banner at all. To my way of thinking, however, MSU style units (ie, flankers and redirectors) should be Marauders.
When examing Marks, the choice is a simple process of elimination.
Khorne is right out. These are the blocks that'll be holding your characters. You can't have them flanked and destroyed, or led around by an eagle/what-have-you. Frenzy is for things you keep behind the line and bring forward to support you, not the line itself.
Nurgle and Tzeentch both do the same thing (protect your guys) but a little math is revealing. Nurgle makes some attacks 1/6 less likely to hit you. Tzeentch makes all attacks 1/6 less likely to wound you. Tzeentch has an identical impact to Nurgle on the attacks Nurgle works on (ranged attacks and ws 3 or ws 6 melee attacks) and is better on those it does not work on. Tzeentch is self evidently better than Nurgle. It also costs less than Nurgle. Hilarious.
Finally we've got the Mark of Slaanesh. This is cheaper than Tzeentch, and has all the uses we've previously described for it. Obviously, it can be game losing if a block of Chaos Warriors fails a terror test. On the other hand, with characters around/in the unit the leadership is likely to be quite high, and they do have a reroll for panic tests, and are unlikely to lose combat to fear causers.
I think Tzeentch and Slaanesh both have their benefits. I'd go with Slaanesh myself, but I can see the case for Tzeentch.
Next time: Special Units
Only two things so far (and the second might be an interpretation/bad wording issue)Moot point, since characters on flying mounts can't join units anyway (and thus won't bail out of 'em either)The Disk is more for sorcerers and the like, who need to bail out of unitsYep, but fear/terror is not a panic test.Obviously, it can be game losing if a block of Chaos Warriors fails a terror test. On the other hand, with characters around/in the unit the leadership is likely to be quite high, and they do have a reroll for panic tests
Apart from that, your summary is finely written, although I also disagree a bit on the demon prince issue, it boils down a bit to personal preference (at least he is far better than his chaos demon counterpart) and I didn't read too much around the special characters (since around here, we seldom use them anyways)
It ain't easy bein' green... :-)
the problem I have with your estimations is that it is extremely biased towards only one type of playstyle (I'm assuming yours). I don't like your review of the chaos lords or heroes. I think the exalted hero can become a tough fighting machine with just a flail and some protection (ie. armor of damnation, or regen save)
I've got no problem mixing fight with magic on a sorcer lord. He's going to have to get into combat at some point anyway, He might as well do well. He's just as good as most hero level fighters which can make mince-meat out of core and champions. Spamming Tz spells 1&6 seems like a lame way to play a game, meaning you're missing out on a lot of the fun things in the army list, in my opinion.
Just an FYI the Troll King does not suffer from stupidity....