In the most unexpected move we could ever see coming, Games Workshop has issued an Errata for the Warhammer Fantasy rulebook where 50% of the allowance for points can go to heroes and lords respectively as long as the 25% core minimum is met. This represents a drastic change that sees the return of the maligned ‘Herohammer’ – a time for heros during the madness of the end times.
This change goes in the same direction as Unbound did for Warhammer 40k and has already garnered cries of ‘it’s broken’ even though there are still many ways to kill a lord or a hero with the utmost ease. To salve your mind, here a quick spotter’s guide of 5 guaranteed ways to kill enemy Heroes/Lords:-
There’s nothing major to add here on the effectiveness of war machines on monsters, characters or anyone caught on their own without a ‘Look out sir’ save. They kill things dead and always will.
The effect of using magic missiles on single model units is very pronounced and with the 50% lord and hero allowance, I doubt there will be a game without a level 4 wizard on each side at LEAST. Remember though that the winds of magic are fickle mistresses and do have a tipping point in terms of their effectiveness. Don’t base a strategy on magic, its definitely a fools game.
Poisoned Attacks / Killing Blow
One of the beautiful things about Fantasy is the ability to use this single rule that instantly decapitates a hero or automatically wounds the,. This is effective not only against heroes and lords on foot, it is not to be overlooked as a solution for solving any woes involving a monster that’s bigger than a horse.
Bring more units/ Tar Pit them.
Characters should always be looking for the most opportune targets (fast cavalry and war machine crews spring to mind) and in an army comprised of more heroes than usual, there will be less units meaning more of an uphill struggle to actually win the game for the character heavy player. More units means you’re guaranteed steadfast and that the hero will be completely wasted. Good units for this are Skaven Slaves and any undead. On average a hero needs to inflict at least 4 wounds on a unit to beat it. Most characters only have 4 attacks and this doesn’t really change when you mount the character on anything shy of a dragon. Even then, the extended frontage of the dragon invites easier return damage which makes using a unit a very strong prospect still. It will be a rare or unlucky player who loses a fully ranked up infantry block to a single character.
Your own characters
If you suspect your enemy is going to go Herohammer on you, it is possible to use some of your own extra allowance to create a character specifically designed for character hunting. The basic items in the rulebook allow for a great challenge character and if you take a lord simply for the purpose of mincing enemy heroes/lords, you’ll make a mockery of their plans very quickly. For a double surprise, try and get items which negate the effects of poisoned attacks/killing blow.
In conclusion, Warhammer is gearing towards 9th edition and we should look forward to the opportunities this bring for more people to play Fantasy. The logic of using the extra allowance is a sound one as it will draw more 40k players to fantasy with the lower model threshold for playing the game. That in turn makes Fantasy a little more skirmish like and allows us to all proceed with impunity towards an age of heroes where we are carving great legacies for our characters, and tales for their armies. Will this be abused? Absolutely! Will people be able to come up with sensible lists again? Again, absolutely. Will this break Warhammer Fantasy? Almost certainly not. It’s the new thing, everyone will try it (myself included, I’ve already got a list involving a Chaos Lord on Dragon supported by level 4 and level 2 wizards planned), however the novelty will wear off when their opponents start employing the appropriate counters to this style of play and balance will be restored once more. Whilst it is the ‘End Times’ in fluff terms, the game is in anything but the end times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lee Pratt is a ten year veteran of Games Workshop games and has been playing games of all types even longer. He is also the former editor of the Watchman magazine. Following his hiatus from writing, Lee has delved deeper into the darker recesses of the far future.