Warhammer Army Project/Cathay

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Cathay: Warhammer Army Project, 9th Edition Tactica[edit]

Created by Mathias Eliasson, this project was a homebrew attempt to give many of the nations and factions that never got Armybooks of their own (and those left behind and never got one in 8th Edition) a thing.

It should also be noted that Eliasson is continuously updating his work, so don't expect this page to stay current forever. If anyone wishes actually to update this page and the items that need it, later on, go ahead.

Why Play WAP Cathay[edit]

Cathay has some of the strangest gatherings of units from any Armybook assembled from the few snippets of lore about how it was fantastically exotic. They have anything from flaming horses, titanic automatons forged from brass, animated statues called Shrine Dogs, ...oh...and monks that can kick in people's shit with just their fists! They also have their version of the Imperial Guard's orders called Stratagems as well as a cool Lore system with powerful spells. And let's face it...you LOVED Dynasty Warriors and want to see if you can recreate some of its best moments (a single warrior holding a bridge by himself comes to mind). So beat the drums, wave the flags, and send in your low-born infantry to die by the thousands for the glory of the Emperor!...that sounds oddly familiar...

People never expected GW to ever make a Cathay book until Total War: WARHAMMER 3. This book was released before all that so gives you an alternate fan take before the newer Lore bombs were dropped.

On the tabletop, Cathay is a unique hybrid of the Empire's jack of trades roster, Skaven like infantry blocks and Weapon teams, Elven High fantastical elite warriors and Monsters, Dark elf Repeater crossbows, plus Tomb King constructs.

Army Special Rules[edit]

Iron Discipline: Units with this special rule count as having another rank for the purposes of combat resolution with a max rank bonus of +4. Letting your units get an edge in cc when comparing unit sizes.

  • 9th rules tend to favor multiple min-sized units for target saturations, but this rule nudges you to go at least 3 ranks deep even if they don't have spears. every +1 in combat will (if their is no massicare) dictate who win melee and the likely hood the opposition will run.

The Lore of Ying & Yan[edit]

Lore Attribute: Equilibrium A Wizard gains access to both Ying & Yan's versions of a spell when selected, similar to the Eldar's Runes of Battle. Every successfully cast spell must be from the opposite energy type of the one cast before it. Otherwise, the Wizard rolls a miscast on the roll of ANY double. This means you get a larger pool of spells, but it also means you won't have the same freedom of being able to cast a spell whenever you want (well, you do...but it comes at very significant risk, and risking something like this on your Level 4 Wu Jen Lord isn't something you'd want to do).

  • Signature for Ying: Ancestor's Courage (8/11) An augment with 12" range (24" if augmented), gives a unit Stubborn and Immune to Psychology until the caster's next Magic Phase. Want a unit to hold its ground? Are you trying desperately to keep an area under your control? Drop this on the holding unit.
  • Signature for Yan: Warrior Incarnate (8/11) An augment with 12/24" range, gives a chosen unit Frenzy and Hatred until the caster's next Magic Phase. Pushing an advantage? Want to give your unit that slight extra edge they need?...you know what to do.

-Both signatures are essential, basic, but seldom useless, except on units not intended for CC.

  • 1st for Ying: Sapping of Will (5/8) A hex with 18" range and Remains in Play giving the target unit Always Strikes Last and -1 to their Weapon Skill...What? You're telling me for a 5+ Casting, It can turn a quick, elite enemy unit into a bunch of snails who hit with the skill of a militiaman? WITH REMAINS IN PLAY!?...I'll fucking take that shit for every battle I'm in.
  • 1st for Yan: Strength of the Heavens (5/10) An augment with 24" range/ 12" aura, gives the target unit +1 Strength and Magical Attacks...GOOD GOD! How am I ever going to find someone willing to go against me with this kind of magic potency?!

-I mean...do I need to tell you how useful this shtick is?

  • 2nd for Ying: Absorbing Chill (6/12) An augment with 24" range, Enemies that are attacking the augmented unit suffer -1 to their To Wound rolls. Make your basic infantry that much more challenging to deal with or protect your more critical units...what? Did you want something more profound? More insightful? It's a basic but excellent spell. There's no secret to using this spell. JUST USE IT! SPAM THIS SHIT!
  • 2nd for Yan: Flames of Azure (6/12) An augment with 24" range, The target unit gains Flaming Attacks and enemy models in base to base contact suffer Strength 3 attacks with the Flaming attacks special rule. These count towards combat res. Okay, this one isn't BAAAD, but it's more situational than its counterpart. The Strength 3 hits aren't worth the cost by themselves. Put this on a ranged unit you think will be trapped in combat by a unit that has the Flammable special rule in the near future, or even just a ranged unit that can target a Flammable unit. Just don't waste your dice on using this for those Strength 3 attacks...use something else.

-Somewhat more specific spells are used for more specific situations (at least the Flames of Azure one). But both are worth it when used correctly.

  • 3rd for Ying: Blazing Phoenix (8/12) A Direct Damage spell with 12/18" range. All enemy units within the range suffer D6 Flaming Strength 4 hits.
  • 3rd for Yan: Call of the Dragon (8/13) A Direct Damage spell, Flaming Breath attack Strength 4, or S5 if overcast.

-Both of these are direct damage dealers. Blazing Phoenix is for multiple, close enemy units surrounding the Wizard. Call of the Dragon is more beneficial for a single unit... straightforward.

  • 4th for Ying: Bereavement of Life (9/12) Magic Missile with 24" range, Causes 3D6 hits. After rolling for how many hits you have and rolling again, every 6 you get for these die results is a wound with no armour saves allowed. With 3D6 hits, you're sure to get a few, but other spells can do a better job against hordes as well as basic infantry. This is a gambling spell that wouldn't be worth it most of the time. Against high Toughness units, high Armour Save units, and even just individual Lords/Heroes/Monster would be good targets for this.
  • 4th for Yan: Resurgence from Death (9/12) Augment with 12"/24" range. It gives the target unit Regeneration (5+) until the user's next Magic Phase. Eh, okay, but this is probably the "worst" spell in this lore (which definitely says something). Other spells in this lore (Absorbing Chill) would probably be better than this for survivability...though this one is better for high Toughness units/models where the enemy will be wounding you on a 6+ either way.

It is slightly less versatile than the other pairs before, but they still have good uses and shouldn't be labeled useless.

  • 5th for Ying: Shroud of Darkness (10/13) Hex with 18" range. The unit affected by this will have its line of sight limited to 8" until the start of the caster's next Magic Phase. They also can't declare charges, cast spells at, or shoot targets outside the range. Holy hell, this spell has a wide amount of use for it. First is the obvious; essentially neuter an elite ranged enemy unit *cough* WOOD ELVES *cough* or those uber dangerous Magic Users (that use spells that can be affected this anyway) *cough* SLANN MAGE PRIESTS *cough*. Or use this to sever an enemy unit from their General and his Inspiring Presence or a BSB and his "Hold Your Ground!" rule. This will also help against shock cavalry coming for a significant impact (Bretonnians will hate you for this...and call you an honor-less cur to boot). The only thing this wouldn't help SO MUCH with is Artillery since you'll have to wade across the field to get to them...and by the time you get there, they'll probably have already done their work. Nevertheless, this is an excellent spell. USE IT, DAMN YOU!!
  • 5th for Yan: Path of Light (10/13) An augment with 12/24" range. The target unit immediately moves 3D6 FORWARD as if in the Remaining Moves sub-phase. Notice the word forward...that means that this is just an "advance quickly" spell that lets your units get places fast...not really for redeploying or shifting. If you are highly aggressive, you'll like this spell...otherwise, you'll find minimal use of it. Still, not a bad spell to have (especially for how many spells Cathay armies CAN have).

-I see good synergy going on with these spells. Experiment with these together and see if you can't make some tabletop magic to happen.

  • 6th for Ying: Earth Eruption (14/17) Direct Damage spell with 18" range. Place a small template within the range. Models at least partially covered by the template suffer a single S4 hit per model. Those completely covered by the template instead take S6 hits with no Armour saves allowed. An interesting spell...hm...since it's small, you'll most likely want to use this against non-horde units and non-Monstrous Infantry units (since you'll get few hits to begin with...and most Monstrous Infantry have T4 or higher). You'll probably have to find a happy medium of small enough bases, expensive enough models and high enough armour save without high Toughness to make this spell fairly efficient.
  • 6th for Yan: Meteor Rain (12/18) Direct Damage spell with 24" range. Place a marker within the range and roll 2D6. The results of those 2D6 are the radius for Meteor Rain. ANY unit within the radius takes 2D6 S4 hits. Again, this one is tricky to use correctly since the range depends on a 2D6 results, and how many hits you get are based on a 2D6 results...this is a gambling spell. Make certain you know this. I see this being most useful against many packed, small, reasonably low Toughness units. There's little effective use for this elsewhere. This will make Skaven and Goblin lists cry, of course.

-Interestingly enough, these are the least effective spells in terms of universality and literal effectiveness.

This lore is the kind of lore that the tears of Chaos Warriors are made out of, turning their mighty warriors into weakling school children waiting for you to bash their faces in, and some of the debuffs can also completely fuck over gun and arrow lines as well as cavalry. Really as a whole, this lore has some of the cruelest debuffs for the power dice you're investing in the game. It's not a bad idea to stick to this lore over the rulebook lores that Cathay can access for this purpose.

The Art of War[edit]

Essentially Cathay's version of Imperial Guard Orders, these Stratagems can only be used by Strategists, Chu-Ye Xian, and the only units affected by these have the Iron Discipline. Not to mention that they cost points with Strategists having a 75pt allowance each to spend on Stratagems. As such, they won't be as common as the IG Orders, but they're good nonetheless (SOME of them are good, anyway).

Stratagems can be used on a unit within 12" with Iron Discipline; it is affected if they pass a Leadership test. You can only attempt one of each of the Stratagems per turn.

  • 30pts: The Swift Feline This is used during the Remaining Moves phase. The target unit can Reform without suffering movement penalties for the rest of the turn. At thirty points, this is a fairly odd one. It only lets you Reform, which isn't utilized all too much. However, it seems the intended state for many Stratagems is to be a tricky git...so if you actually use Reform moves and would like to utilize this to see what you can do with it, then go ahead. The only thing wrong with this is that Reforming just simply isn't something too many players use (and it might be a smidge overpriced for what it does).
  • 30pts: The Cunning Fox This is used after deployment. The target unit may re-deploy 6" away from its placed position. BUT, it must be deployed within the allowed deployment zone. Again, another tricky Stratagem is only slightly useful. its usability varies massively giving an edge for veteran tournament players that understand how a few inches can change the outcome of a battle, to spending a hefty 30pts to push a unit 6" in some direction... This is tricky and hard to use Stratagem, requiring the right terrain, knowing if the enemy has projectiles, and/or a strong understanding of deployment mind games to get any value from this Stratagem. A hard Skip for many Players.
  • 30pts: The Swooping Hawk Used after deployment. The Cathay player adds +1 to the roll of whether they go first or not. Okay, something fairly nice. If you really feel like initiative and being the first to do something is important to you, this a good 'un. Sure, it's thirty points for something you'll use once and not even something that's guaranteed...but it's still noticeably more useful than "The Cunning Fox".
  • 25pts: The Stinging Scorpion ALRIGHT! Now we are getting into the good stuff! Used in the Close Combat phase, the target unit (excluding characters) receives +1 to their To Hit rolls if they charged that turn. It is most exploitable on cavalry (especially for those already hitting on 3's) but still useful all around. Good to bring in most lists.
  • 25pts: The Stoic Porcupine Activated during the target unit's Charge Reaction. The unit counts as having no flanks or rear, however, they do not benefit from the Iron Discipline rule. It's okay...ish...if you know what you're doing. For the average player, you won't be able to exploit this (even if it has an exploitable feature or design to it) nor make good use of it. It's more of a defense ability to deny the advantage of outmaneuvering you. It's just sound not to get this if you don't have a way to make this useful.
    • It's a safety net against a unit being inevitably outmaneuvered and mitigating as much damage as possible. losing Iron Discipline is fine as the unit probably is big enough to disrupt your. Denying that 1 or 2 combat points can make a difference (also given rules as written you would get supporting attacks when it's used, so butting you in less of a disadvantage before the unit can fight the flankers properly).
  • 25pts: The Sleeping Crocodile If the target unit has been charged in the flank, they can perform a swift reform to face the enemy as a Charge Reaction (provided they aren't already in combat). Ehhh...good for what's supposed to do, but something not universally useful to most players is a pretty common theme it seems amongst the Stratagems so far. I mean, if you have spears or the like and cavalry are trying for that sweet rear charge, this can scare them pretty well. Useful in a handful of situations, kind of meh in most others. The problem you may face with this is that you may open the unit's flanks to more charges, putting it contested with The Stoic Porcupine.
  • 20pts: The Rain of Death This is used in the Shooting Phase. The target unit may fire even if they've marched. A fairly nice mobility trick that ensures you can keep your ranged units just in range by moving them rapidly forward or back to avoid retaliation. Not as universally good as The Stinging Scorpion, but it has fairly widespread applicability (except in CC concentrated armies).
  • 20pts: The Running Rabbit Used in the Movement Phase. Until the start of the target unit's next turn, this unit ignores panic caused by friendly units fleeing through them as well as friendly units breaking in combat. This is a specific Stratagem that's basically for retaliation and giving your units a fallback. Say that you have a weakened or important unit not good in CC, an enemy unit that's sure to wipe them away is close by, but so is another CC unit under your command. You put this on the CC unit and when the enemy declares a charge against the weaker unit, you fallback with the said unit, and the other unit ensures the enemy can't chase them. It's good for what it does (and if your plans succeed) but it's not something you'll make use of in every situation.
  • 15pts: The Blinding Light Used as a Charge Reaction; this can only be used to target Imperial Infantry units that have shields. Any enemy charging the target unit loses all of their charge bonuses. Wow...anti-cav is strong with this one. Bretonnians are going to revile you with extreme prejudice, should you ever dare to use this on them; bonus points if it's a Grail Knight unit. Apparently, the power of a goddess is no match for some shiny metal...But really, if you're fighting a highly aggressive foe, this is great.
  • 15pts: The Impregnable Tortoise Used in Remaining Moves Phase; the target unit can only be an infantry unit with shields. The unit gains +1 to their Armour Saves from missile attacks, but they also can't march. Upon entering CC, this formation immediately ends. Most of the time this is just okay since most factions don't make too much use of ranged weapons, but against spammy Dwarves, Empire, Wood Elves, and some types of Dark Elves and High Elves well as the rare Bretonnia list, this will be put to good use. If your going against O&G, Warriors of Chaos, Daemons, and the like...this is better left for something else.
  • 15pts: The All-seeing Eagle Used before deployment. The controlling player can add +1 to the roll of where you choose sides. Eh...in your average battle, this isn't something too important, unless you play with a lot of terrains. But, if there's a strategic asset or a big defensive feature or WHATEVER on the board and it's important to control and be closer to one side (as well as you actually being able to exploit these features) this'll usually be worth the points.


  • Cathayan Longsword: A slightly fancier two-handed CCW. It provides a 6++ Parry (nice) and Armour Piercing 1, both of which make this a nice enough upgrade.
  • Fire Lance: An additional punch to a lance during the first round of combat, dealing an S4 Flaming Piercing 1 attack. If you set it off, they can be pretty devastating, particularly with Stinging Scorpion.
  • Repeater Crossbow: Not the ones the Druchii have. Cheap on Bowmen units at 2 points, These are 18" and S3 with only Multishot (3). Not much else to say but move up and throw some dakka down.
  • Three-Eyed Gun: An 18" handgun with S4 Piercing 1 and MultiShot (3), making them better to lay down the fire. Not as much range as its cousin the Repeater Handgun, but no 'More or Fire' means it is much better on the move.

Treasures of the Seven Heavens[edit]

  • Blades of Gan Jiang and Mo Ye: 65pts. Counts as paired weapons; the wielder gains +1 to their To Hit and To Wound rolls. Also, successful enemy Armour and Ward saves must be re-rolled. Hm...it's pretty nice (and at least it doesn't take up all 100pts allowance you have) but since it is 65pts, it'll force you to take a fairly mono-build leader; and with the Warlord being a squishy human, you'll have to take great care about where you deploy and maneuver this guy. In other words: take these blades, and you'll effectively turn him into a glass cannon.
  • Jade Sword of Feng Wu: 40pts. A Cathayan Longsword that essentially makes the wielder an 8E Elf. The wielder gains ASF and +1 to his Weapon Skill. A very good choice for a Wu Xia, as they're almost defenseless and need to make sure they aren't dead before they can attack.
  • Imperial Dragon Armour: 55pts. This heavy armour forces enemy attacks to suffer -1 to their To Wound rolls. The wearer also gains immunity to Flaming Attacks...oh, and it also allows the first unsaved wound to be discounted automatically. For 55pts, this is decent.
  • Fist of Iron: 50pts. Gives the bearer another point of Armour Save. He also gets +1 to his Strength for every rank his unit has (to a maximum of +3). If you keep him in a unit with ranks, this comes down to a Giant Blade for 5 more points and +1 Armour. Keep in mind this doesn't take up a magic weapon slot, so combo them together for +6 str...
  • Jade Dragon Token: Wielder gains Regen (5+) and Magic Resistance 2 for 40pts. Long story short: put this on your Wu Jen Lord, not your Warlord (He needs a universal Ward save DAMN IT!).
  • Brush of 1,000 Years: Every time the bearer successfully casts a spell from the Lore of Yan and Ying and rolls any doubles, he may choose to make a leadership test on his own, unmodified Leadership statistic. If the test is passed, all duplicate rolls count towards Ultimate Power. Though this is 55pts, it's really nice for your Wu Jen Lord. Have an enemy you know is going to bring that Slann? Ruin his day and his perfect gaming record with this. If you have an enemy that will hardly have any chance of dispelling your spells anyway, those 65pts could be better spent elsewhere. Oh, and remember, DON'T use this willy-nilly! Every Bonus dice you roll is another chance to course a Miscast. Use Wisly.
  • Cui Dan's White Orb: 30pts. Another high-risk/reward item for magic users. This one gives the bearer +D3 to his Casting. However, if the bearer miscasts he must roll 2D6 for the test and use the higher. This one doesn't have an option not to use so you'll still be in danger of having your Wu Jen Lord being sucked into the Warp. Both this and the brush basically have the same purpose; to increase your spellcaster potency and try to shut the enemy from nullifying it. It's arguable to be better overall; the brush automatically gives the chance for more die on a cast with the 'substantial' chance of suffering for it while the Orb gives a small increase to your potency for far fewer points. And whilst with the Brush you have a greater chance of having miscasts, you suffer the worse with miscasts when you have the Orb. It's really your preference which you choose.
  • Gong of Tsao Taso: 40pts. An enchanted item with a one-use bound spell at Level 5. Enemy warmachines, chariots, unique units, and units in buildings suffer D6 S6 hits within 12" of the bearer; while other enemy unit types take panic tests. Eh...unless you have a spammy Dwarf artillery enemy (which you'll have a hard time getting to...if you can even get there before getting shot down), an enemy with lots of chariots or lots of occupied structures (can't remember the last time occupied buildings were used in Fantasy). Panic is fine but it just doesn't compensate for this being forty points. This just feels like a miss...it's a fluffy one but little reason to actually use it. If you have your heart set, a Lore of Shadows Wu Jen is your best deployment vector.
  • Standard of Cathay: 100pts. For one hundred points you get the following: the bearer units gaining Stubborn, friendly units within 12" getting Immune to Panic, and enemies in base contact suffer Strength 3 hits with Flaming. It's a fairly nice banner...but it just costs too much. In your 2,000 point games...no. No way. If you're doing a large Apocalypse-esque game...GO FOR IT! Get a line of Imperial Infantry before the enemy horde and HOLD THE LINE! Combos well with the War Drums.
  • Sky Banner of the Lofty Heavens: 50pts. A one-use banner that gives a unit fly(10) at the beginning of the Movement Phase for the rest of the turn. This does have great potential. Put this on cavalry, pop it and use it to get over a large, impassable terrain piece into your enemies more juicy units...but its cost is a bit much. Bring this only if you know you can properly use it without wasting fifty points or leaving your troops stranded without help.

The Weapons, Armour and Arcane Items are pretty good and worth looking at. But the Banners and the Gong are definitely situational...if even that.

Army Units[edit]

Lords & Heroes[edit]

Special Characters[edit]

  • Pu-Yi, Celestial Dragon Emperor: 350pts. The fan assumption of who Cathay's big cheese was. We already put the work in so here he is. He is drastically reworked from version 1.0, though he won't look it at the outset. As the previously assumed faction-leader general, he grants not only an 18" IP as the mandatory general but also makes any unit he's attached to immune to psychology. Offensively, he's got a special longsword that makes him throw out 6 S4 flaming attacks that ignore armour at I6, which makes him frightening, all while protected by heavy armor that grants immunity to fire and a 5++ ward. As for that part about turning into a dragon? Now redone as a bound magic item giving him Transformation of Khadon from Lore of Beasts, but the item also provides a 4+ regen and forces enemies to take -1 to hit him. Ironically the previous version, who could resume his 'true' Dragon form, was rewritten to be more down to earth and realistic.
  • Zhao Bei, Grand General of Cathay: 195pts. Zhao Bei has a more supportive role, a significant step down in cost from the emperor by 155 less. His statline is nothing to write home about, being the same as the generic General option, and he rides a normal warhorse. However, his magical spear can be thrown and acts as a bolt thrower when he does so, and his armor with the Horse gives him a good T5, but he lacks any other saves. However, his special rules are where he benefits the most: Everything within 12" with Iron Discipline that marches around enemies, redirect charges, or reforms rolls 3d6 and drops the highest. Most importantly, he can take 50 points of stratagems. This means that Zhao Bei fulfills the role of both a strategist and a warlord in your army and can very well be the only character you take besides a wizard. Also, his armor and warhorse mean that you'll be able to use stratagems on cavalry units that would often be outside of a Strategist's range. Overall he's a bit pricey at 245 when loaded up with stratagems (and why would you take him if you don't), but he's alright and can fit into smaller point games nicely.
  • Hua Gongzhu: 200/218pts. A mix of Mulan and Princess Pingyang. She's at home when supporting a unit, as she doubles their Unit Strength. Aside from that, she lets a unit within 12" benefit from her Magic Resistance (1), and all within 12" can re-roll rally and panic checks. Combat doesn't see her slack off either, as she gets a 5++ parry from her longsword and every 6 with the parry roll sees her counterattack. You can also grab a horse and put her to use with the cavalry.
  • Tian Shi: Named character Level 4 wizard, he's a loremaster of Heavens and damn good at his job at a hefty 340 points. Of course, he only has access to Heavens, so keep that in mind. He has the rule "Grand Astromancer," which allows him to re-roll one power die in each magic phase, and his robe will enable him to generate d3 extra dice in every magic phase. Once per game, he can auto-cast any spell at its lowest level for free, but he no longer generates d3 power dice a turn. Excellent for the end game, throwing out a bolt of free chain lightning, on which he can re-roll the number of hits on due to his staff along with Urannon's Thunderbolt. He's a hell of a wizard, giving more dice and buffing two spells that he, of course, possesses automatically. If you want a great heavens wizard, he's your man, but for any other lore, you'll need the basic Wu-Jen.
  • Guan Bu: 130pts for Warhammer's totally-not-Guan-Yu Captain of the Emperor's Guard, and thus must join a unit of them. His unit gets a re-rollable break test on 3d6, dropping the highest, so you know he'll be staying for the long run, but you should note that he no longer makes his Guard core. When fielding him, you will have to consider this as this ratchets up his cost a good bit. His particular weapon is Green Dragon Glaive, a halberd that deals d3 hits on every successful hit has armour piercing (1) and a 5++ parry. If you decide to take multiple guard units, pick him to lead the biggest and stack the Razor Standard to really throw in the hurt.
  • Zhuge Yi, Grand Imperial Strategist: 105/230pts. AKA Fantasy Creed He is the most elite strategist, capable of buying up to 125 points worth of them. His strategies all have the double range, and his targets roll 3d6, dropping the lowest to carry them out. While he's far from a good combatant, he has used it. His shooting can either be in the form of a poisoned Cathayan repeater crossbow or an instrument that can knock out an entire unit for a turn on a failed Ld check. His only protection is in a fan that robs an attack from anyone in b2b and makes them ASL, which is the only way he might be able to retaliate.
  • Cheng Long: 190pts. Grand Master of the Celestial Dragons. While he can't be general, he's plenty impressed with the fire breath, a 5++ dodge, strider, and the ability to give a pack of his boys stubborn while he possesses Immunity (Psychology). On top of being just a better monk, he also possesses upgraded versions of each style (Black Tiger adds +d3 attacks, White Crane adds ASF and +1 to hit, Fanged Snake gives HKB, Great Dragon gives +2 Strength, and Praying Mantis gives a 4++ ward).
  • The Monkey King: 155pts. Because calling him Son Wukong or Son Gokuu would be too damn obvious. He's actually a mix between monk and monkey warrior, possessing strider and the fighting styles. He can provoke berserk fury (a la Frenzy) to anyone in the charging range, making him. Of course, he wants to be in combat, where his weapon can add +2 to his strength while hiding behind a 6++ dodge and a -1 to hit in combat. What you should beware of, however, is that he can only join monkey warriors.
  • Dalan-Tai: 110pts. Khan of the nomads, which bars him from being general. He's the best when it comes to Steppe Nomads and lets an attached unit re-roll dangerous terrain, flee, and pursue tests. On top of this, he lets his unit fire while fleeing without sacrificing swiftstride for the turn. This archery is based on his Dragon Bow, an S5 bow that goes through armor like nothing.

Generic Characters[edit]

  • General/Captain: The Commander is your generic fighty lord, very customizable and with a reasonable price tag. That's it. Seriously, he on his own has no special rules that make him unique. He DOES, however, gets more interesting when you consider what you can give him, and what he allows you to take. In addition to the usual weapon options, he can take a Cathayan Longsword, he has the option for heavy armor and the gamut of mounts.
  • 0-1 War Drums: Counting as a war machine, the War Drums act as a musician to all units within 12", and VERY importantly, it affects STACK with actual musicians (effectively +2 if they tie during combat resolution) and let units reroll Stratagem tests. This is very useful as your core infantry has low leadership across the board, so any help in that regard is useful.
  • Wu Jen Lord/Wu Jen:Standard Caster, nearly identical to an Empire wizard except for lore options. While not having access to the excellent lore of life, he gains access to the lore of Ying and Yan, which as mentioned above is quite powerful, on top of Fire, Light, Metal, Heavens, and Shadow.
  • Strategist: A character truly unique to the Cathay army, he's cheap as chips at 15 points base and does fuck all in combat. His actual ability lies in the army-unique stratagems. He can take seventy-five points worth of stratagems and issues them to any unit within 12" if they pass a leadership test. While the same stratagem can't be used twice in one turn, there is no restriction on how many stratagems one Strategist can use per turn, nor is there a restriction on stacking stratagems on a single unit. If he took the cheapest stratagems, one strategist could potentially use four in one turn. This opens up very interesting possibilities tactically, such as using the "Sleeping Crocodile" stratagem to face a flank charger and then using "The Blinding Light" to eliminate their charge bonuses. All around, a very cool and solid character. have him in the middle of your formation (presumably with bodyguards while in the back)
  • Wu Xia: Your badass martial artist heroes. These guys are about on tier with a General for stats, but are your prime challengers, as they are forced into all of them. Fortunately, they have a 4++ Dodge, KB, and reroll hits and wounds while dueling to help against most man-sized foes. Against a monster, hope that your dodge holds up. Your bigger weakness, however, is your painfully average 4" movement so can only run with infantry.


  • Warhorse: Tried and true, you can take barding for a few extra points and slap a Commander in a cavalry unit.
  • Qilin: Generals and Captains only. A swole fly(9) unicorn. M9, WS4, S&T4, I4, and A2, it gets +1 strength on the impact hit and has magical attacks. Bonus points for the image of a Cairn wraith dying from a kick to the face from your magic horse.
  • Pixiu: Generals only. Winged Dog-Dragon-thing, with griffon stats. Beefier than the Qilin, at over triple the points. Causes Terror and has Hatred: Daemons of Chaos as a nifty little extra.
  • War Chariot: Captains Only. Gives you a chariot and an extra man to do archery if you feel so inclined and can join a unit of chariots for extra security.
  • Elite War Chariot: Generals and Captains only. A Beefy four-horse chariot in which your character can replace one crew member while two others can do backup. A very solid choice, cheaper than the Pixiu.

Core Units[edit]

Simple, solid, cheap, and with mostly piss poor leadership, these are guys get shit done, as long as they don't run away. Also, have many good expendable units, so make sure at least half your army's core units are not expendable.

  • Levy Infantry: Your legion of disposable peasants. It Starts Nacked at 2 ppm. You can put out a lot of chaff. Won't win many fights with WS2 and Ld 6, so avoid giving them gear that costs extra points unless you're going for a quantity+little quality instead of the average Imperial Infantry. They aren't expendable, so do keep a babysitter near so they don't cause a chain rout.
    • They exist to put a ton of bodies on the board for as little as possible. The addition of Spears is for dice buckets, and polearms are a cheap ap attack provider.
  • Imperial Infantry: Your legion of disposable trained peasants. The second cheapest as chips basic infantry with all average human stats, starting at 4 points a model base. They can take spears and halberds for a point each and pikes for 2, which is highly recommended, as this unit should be taken in big blocks to maximize the benefit from iron discipline. A unit with many ranks can scrape by in unfavorable match-ups due to the bonus from iron discipline, so you must take advantage of it.
  • Levy Bowmen: Your mass bows you take in blocks, 4 points each, but they only have BS2. They can replace bows for Crossbows or Repeater Crossbows or take javelins and become skirmishers depending on how you want to shoot. They can also buy a little armour and a shield, but at that price, you could've bought another levy infantryman. They are a cheap means of placing 10man bows and Crossbows. Repeater Crossbows should be avoided because you need good BS to make the most of the multishot. Javelins are also another cheap form of Piercing, and you get vanguarding chaff.
  • Imperial Bowmen: Take the Infantrymen, slap bows on them, and there you get your chief shooters for 7 points. They survive longer than Levy in firefights, especially if you put Shields and Medium armour, but at a total 9 points, which gets discouraging. Stick to a shield if you're worried about archery fights. More average BS of 3 can replace bows with Handguns, crossbows, or Repeater Crossbows. They're a better candidate to hold Repeater Crossbows over Levys as there is a noticeable difference in hitting on 5+ rather than 6+ before modifiers.
  • Imperial Cavalry: Your fast cavalry are about on tier with your basic Imperial infantry placed on a horse for 11ppm. Be your cheap Fast Flankers and skirmish shooters with options for javelins, bows, or Crossbows.
  • Dragon Lancers: Your entry-level "heavy" cav for 14ppm, they're no empire or Bretonnia knights, and they're certainly no chaos knights. They don't get that powerful Lance, but they still have intriguing options. Also, the only core choice with leadership 8. They start at 14 points but can get heavy armor, halberds, and some barding will get a 3+ save, bringing you to 20 points. You can give them bows for two points or a three-eyed gun for six if you want a bit of extra mobile ranged fire. The most impressive option is fire lances which are upgraded spears for a total of 4 points, which add on to your weapons for an extra devastating rush. Whether the extra two points a model is worth it for one handgun shot per combat is up to you, but it will make that first charge extra painful.
    • Spears come with mandatory shields and kill better on their charge, suitable for if you plan on winning the first round and save points on armor, Halberds is if you plan to fight longer at any time. Flails are an alternative to spears and Halberds as they provided a total of Strength 5 attacks for the first round of the fight phase, even when you got charged first.
    • Three-eyed Guns are repeater handguns for expensive fire on the move, making them like empire Outriders but with the option to have even more armour.
  • Steppe Nomads: upgrading your Imperial Cavalry with bows to be expendable nomads horse archers with BS4, which is nice. They can also be given spears and shields. To add to the fast, you can also re-roll Pursuit and Flee rolls. Decent upgrade to Imperial Cavalry for skirmish shooting and flank charging.
  • Hill Tribesmen: 3 points expendable infantry with ambush rule. They're slightly better at fighting than levies with WS&BS3 but can't take armour and lack the Iron Discipline rule. However expendable, they won't panic your other troops when they inevitably run given leadership 6. Dirt cheap. Throw them in someone's flank or warmachines.
  • Monkey Warriors: Anyone who's read Journey to the West knows why these guys are here. They are like Beastmen ungors but the underappreciated best parts. They have Movement 5, two attacks, and initiative 4 with a 6++ dodge and being Expendable and Forest and Obstacle Strider. These guys are harassing skirmishers, and they can get blowpipes. Take these guys to whittle down tough units with poison darts and then flank a weakened unit in melee before they can strike back. As Expendables, they also aren't much concerned if they flee a fight.

Special Units[edit]

The Cathayan special units are quite interesting, fulfilling several disparate roles and filled with strange units and smaller warmachines.

  • Imperial Guard: The simplest of the special units, these guys are only pseudo-elite infantry. These guys are here to hold the line, a definite step up from the imperial infantry, at WS4, I4, and L8 with stubbornness. They only have Medium armor and halberds, and they can take a magic banner up to 50 points(which 9/10 times should be the Razor Standard). Of the elite choices, these are the guys you really wanna go to at least 3 ranks. With halberds and Iron Discipline, you'll get lots of decent strength attacks, and they'll be able to power through many engagements through the combat resolution bonuses. At a reasonable 10 points each, it won't break the bank.
  • Dragonblades: Your true elite infantry, these guys are the next step above the Emperor's Guard, with WS5, I4, and 2 attacks each, these lads will tear through most targets. They'll chop through light infantry, but they can also take on other elites with their armor-piercing Cathayan longswords and killing blow. They also have iron discipline but are 11 points, so it will be more costly if you want to take advantage of it. The main disadvantage of this unit is their durability in melee, also having Medium armor, and the longsword gives them a 6++ parry. Ranged fire is still the unit's arch-enemy, However, if you're using the lore of Ying and Yan on your wizard, a shroud of darkness will keep enemy firepower off these guys and the path of light will get them to the enemy faster.
  • Shadowblades: Ninjas! In...Fantasy China...? Come on Matthias (To be fair, the basis of ninjutsu did migrate through China before reaching Japan). Historical nitpicking aside, these guys are alright. They are an upgrade to monkey warriors being significantly better at fighting and throwing things. They also possess scout, which the monkey warriors do not. They don't get as many attacks for their points, and at 10 points a model, they hurt far harder and possess significantly more staying power.
    • They are an elite middle ground between blowpipe monkeys and hill tribesmen, preferring to take down particular units with more guaranteed damage rather than taking numbers to take on multiple enemies.
  • Celestial Dragon Monks: Shaolin Monks! Now we've got our stereotypes straight! This unit is a strange one, as its role is somewhat unclear. It's a skirmisher unit with no armor and strider...with a chaos warrior statline, a 6++ Dodge, and immune to psychology. Ain't that a kick in the head? They're expensive at 15 points a model, but in addition to their beastly statlines, they can pick one of five stances that boosts their abilities every turn (+1A, ASF, KB, +1S, Dodge(5+)).
    • These stances allow the monks to adapt to various situations, meaning they'll be helpful no matter what they're facing. These guys will absolutely mulch infantry with Black Tiger, have three attacks each, and did I mention that the unit champion has a Strength 3 breath weapon? Elves? See how green they get when you throw out ASF against them. Are some enemy elites getting you down? Throw some killing blow in there. I don't think I need to explain how +1 strength or a 5+ dodge save is useful. Its main weakness is its complete vulnerability to ranged fire. Skirmisher and Dodge will help a little, but they have no armor, and Dodge only works against attacks to their font arc. So get em in combat quick.
  • War Chariot: your Chariot, two horses, two Imperial Guards with spears and bow. Are not core, but you can do a Tomb Kings.
    • Elite War Chariot: A big beefy chariot. What more do you want? It's got four horses and three crew, T4 and 5 wounds, and you can take them as a mount for your commander. Take a few and smash some stuff up.
  • Mercenary Ogres: They're pretty much as they are in their own book. They'll provide a giant wall of meat and muscle for you with Impact Hits (1) that add Rank to Strength when they charge. Their big drawback is their limited protection in purchased light armor.
  • Temple Dogs: "Hey look at that cool statue-OHGODITSEATINGMEPLEASGODNO!!!!" War Beast is a solid choice with a different role from most. They come in units of 5+, so no singular models to catch charges or lone wizard hunters like razorgors. These guys honestly function like swifter Ogres. They have 2 attacks each at S4 and WS4, but their big pull is their durability. Toughness 5, magic resistance(1), Immune to Fire attacks, and Animated Constructs mean these guys aren't going away anytime soon. However, being Unstable means that the possibility is very there and very possible. Also, the update to Animated Construct makes them now actually slower than marching levies but still have a great change range like calvery.
    • Mercenary Ogres Vs. Temple Dogs: Getting a comparison, Both cost the same number of points per model. Ogres can march 12" when not charging while Dogs charges (7" + 3D6 drop lowest). Ogres for the points without including wargear option, they get more attacks + impact hits, Wounds, and unit strength. While Dogs lands more hits against WS3 enemies, harder to wound by most standard troops and other types of unit killing attacks. In conclusion, Temple Dogs are best used to support the flanks of your levies while shrugging of Poison arrows, Magic missiles, and Vortexes.
  • Terracotta Warriors: Living stone warriors come to kick your ass! They're toughness 4 with magic resistance, Immunity to fire, and Animated Constructs at 5 points a model! can take Spears, Polearms, Bows, or Crossbows. They seem broken until you see their big downside: unstable, and leadership 3 at that. That's right. Your magical stone badasses crumble like basic skeletons if they lose a fight. They are ok fighters for their cost. The only downside is the lack of armor saves, but with unstable and no resurrection method like the undead armies, they'll completely collapse in an unfavorable matchup. Use them as tougher unbreakable Levies to maximize their time tarpiting important units while not within inspiring presence.
  • Field Engineers:Essentially skaven weapon teams, 2 to 5 of these guys can be near any non-skirmishing infantry unit, granting a (4+) ward against ranged attacks and let them Stand & Shoot when their parent is charged. Up to 2 can be taken as a single special choice.
    • Three-eyed Guns: 11ppm. a 3 shot repeater handgun to take down knights
    • Firebombs: 10ppm. for mobile and cheap, if short-ranged, firepower, breaking up infinity before charging, or discourage charges against nearby units.
    • Skyrockets: 12ppm. mid-ranged mini-Fire Rocket charts.
    • Dragon's Breath: 35ppm. For an S3 flamethrower, a tool for infantry clearing.
    • Hand Mortar: 55ppm. A portable stone thrower! It can clear blocks at a range, though they're pretty easy to expose.
  • Siege Crossbow: 35pts. The classic Bolt Thrower. to cheaply impale Calvalry and skewer row of units
  • Stormhurler Ballista: 50pts. A fires 6 smaller crossbow bolts instead of one big one. Unlike the Elf ones, these cannot mode change so your only pay more for the ability to wipe a rank than cleave through the unit like a normal Bolt Thrower.
  • Catapult: 85pts. Your basic Stone Thrower for infantry crushing needs. When compared to a min size of 2 Hand Mortar for +25 more points, Catapults shrug off more shooting attacks and can pivot and still shoot.
  • Flying Crow: 90pts. Rocket S3 fire arrows that operate as a stone-thrower with a large template. Taking Goblin Slaying Further beyond.

Rare Units[edit]

This is where your better guns and large monsters.

  • War Wagon: 150pts. A...wagon that can't move fast? Well, hold up. While it's true that it's moving as fast as infantry and can't move through terrain (it's a wheeled bunker), it does offer a 2+ save at T6 and a flurry of 6 spears and crossbows, making it seem more like a wannabe monster or a slow-moving Rook to hold objectives. Stack Unbreakable onto the equation, and it's pretty much guaranteed that this thing will need to be the line's strongpoint or objective camper.
  • Fire Rocket Cart: 120pts. Empire Helstorm Rocket Battery. More of a big multishot crossbow actually, roll the artillery dice and fire 5 times the number at an infantry block with S4 volley of arrows. A means of firing long-range arrow volleys on goblins while cheaping out on buying crossbowers.
  • Dragon Cannon: 85pts. A cannon with an additional explosive ammo profile. Particularly a smaller, very precise stone-thrower that needs line of sight that deals 3(s) hits with Piercing 1, and Multiwound(d3) will wipe out most infantry and cavalry, but this mode will fall short against all the big bad monsters, so use normal mode for them.
  • Phoenix: 200pts. A Flamespyre Phoenix with one more attack and other damage-dealing abilities in exchange for losing spell casting boosters. Instead of moving or charging, it can make up to an 18" pseudo-move/charge that does a strength 5 hit to all that it passes over and engages anything it encounters at the end of its movement. It stays in the fight for better or worse, as it burns anyone in combat with it and has a 50/50 chance to resurrect and cause all in direct contact to take S5 hits. The Phoenix is good at disrupting and destroying enemy back lines with a devastating combatant.
  • Brass Titan: 265pts. A Giant, Monstrous terracotta warrior but in Full Plate, S/T/W 6 and can instantly damage all models in contact to it in addition to his 5 normal attacks, And this isn't even his stomp. A real infantry mulcher.
  • Celestial Dragon: 300/350pts. Your fly(7) Dragon. Not much to write home about compared to others like it, but this dragon can become a Wizard of Fire or Heavens. This makes them one of the few fire wizards that can efficiently use Cascading Fire-cloak as it has the stats to be in melee.

Regiments of Renown[edit]

like most human empires, they get the full roster and trust most units. Also as a jack of trades army not too much of interest except the stranger ones like flying crossbows, the Dwarf machinegun, or the Elf on dragon.

Building Your Army[edit]

Army Composition[edit]

Cathay core option play like skaven hoard, getting more benefits when putting units in at least in ranks of 3 to get that Extra +1 in Combat Resolution.

While Cathay is known to use block infantry to hold, they will be supported by Skirmishers, calvery, monsters, and many different types of artillery, for additional damage.

The core comprises Strong Expandable units to line up outside your deployment zone like Monkey Warriors. Then your mandatory core is Iron Discipline units like a big imperial Infantry with pikes and Levys on the wings.

Always remember you have a lot of Artillery options. They range from anti-goblin to anti-dragon. The Stone Thrower and Dragon's Breath, and Dragon Cannon's Explosive Ammunition punishing packed up deployment, with everything else designed to shred more armored targets.


  • Fire: being hit with fire hurts. a good CC option for Dragons, flaming pikes for the win.
  • Metal: Deal with knights that levies can't pierce, including sniping, making your Blocks even harder to grind. With Enchanted Blades of Aiban, it makes those cheap levy Bowman into a usable and credible threat.
  • Light: Let your Levy blocks last longer with Pha's Protection and Light of Battle while Bringing extra pain to those Undead and Daemons that think they can out chaff you.
  • Heavens: mix of buff and debuff + Lightning at higher levels. It makes Dragons more supportive, and like most flying wizards, they make the most out of the Wind Blast spell.
  • Shadow: your mounted Wu Jen becomes extra mobile, and your levy will grind for Longer or murder a unit.
  • Ying and Yan: Gets a lot of utility, as your getting double the spells for one lore. You will have to think ahead to not deal with miscasts on any double. Ying and Yan will deal with many occasions.



External Links[edit]

The Project's website

Warhammer Army Project Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Forces of Order
Forces of Destruction