Warhammer Army Project/Tips
This is a page for sharing tactics for Warhammer fantasy battle: Warhammer Army Project. This page should contain strategies for list building, unit positioning, unit matchups, and notable rule interactions.
- 1 How to tatices
- 1.1 Knowing your Enemy
- 1.2 Understanding Your Army
- 1.3 Deployment
- 1.4 Analyzing The Threats
- 1.5 Understanding Favorable Scenarios
- 1.6 Predicting Combat
- 1.7 Lesser of Two Evils
- 1.8 Magic Superiority
- 1.9 Baiting and Feinting
- 1.10 Counter-charges and Flanking
- 1.11 Winning combat, now what?
- 1.12 Lost combat, now what?
- 1.13 When ahead, stay ahead
- 1.14 Post-game Analysis
- 2 How Close Combat works
- 3 Command Group
- 4 Challenges
- 5 Poison
- 6 Characters
- 7 Know your Stats
- 8 Base Sizes
- 9 Know your Races
- 10 What is a chariot
- 11 External Links
How to tatices
using High elves as your example army
Knowing your Enemy
The first piece of advice I have for newer players is knowing your enemy. There is nothing more important than this piece right here. You look across the table and you see a bunch of units you don't know, you already know this game is going to head into disaster. Very few players have the ability to asset threat, damage and power on the fly so its best you go into battles prepared. Key units like the Skaven Doomwheel, the Bloodthirster or the horde unit of Khorne Marauders with Great Weapons, all of these are important pieces on the battlefield. The best thing to do in these situations is to point across the table and ask. If the player you're playing with is a gentleman, and it's a friendly game, I hope he can tell you what each unit does. In a tournament setting, forget about it. Fantasy already takes a day and a half to set up, so it's best you do your research ahead of time.
Think of it like this: Every game you play is a test of skill and generalship. Any good general takes the time to learn about his enemy and so should you. That's why I buy every army book GW prints. Not only is it superb shitter material, but it's also valuable information on what kind of ridiculous combos, units or special characters that might show up on the battlefield.
Understanding Your Army
I almost think that knowing your enemy and understanding your army works hand in hand. If you think about it, you spend all this time making up your army list and for what? Each army list is designed to accomplish a certain thing on the battlefield. Playing for fun is one thing, but you're also playing so your troops are victorious. This is why army design is crucial and how you can make the best out of your army composition.
Keep in mind that this is not advice on how to min-max your army, it's about making your army work for you. As a general of any given army, you must find a medium where you're comfortable with the units you've taken, and you understand fully how they work. The best way to do this is by assigning battlefield roles. Take Sword Masters for example, what do they do best? They generate CR by ripping up lowly troops in combat but they die as fast as a swift breeze. What's the job of Spearmen? Or Skavenslaves? To hold the line and await reinforcements, using their superior numbers and ranks to tie the enemy down.
To be a successful general, you must know your units like the back of your hand. Understand each unit's functionality and purpose, but most importantly, understand why you put them in your army in the first place.
The greatest threat to most units in a High-elf army is long combats, if you cannot break a unit you will need to minimize the amount of damage they can do back to you in the following turns. Remember your troops hit rather hard but tend to die very easily.
I've seen many games where games are lost on deployment alone. Picture for a second that your opponent puts down a unit of heavily armored Chaos Knights after you put your White Lions down far away from them. If those White Lions were your only defense against heavy armor, then I'd say you're in a world of shit once those Knights come crashing on your flank.
That's why you see players taking units whose sole purpose is to give them an edge in deployment. Some might be good enough to be used as re-directors or warmachine hunters too. These units are also known as chaff. Chaff is important because it allows you put these units down anywhere you want for the most part. They pretty much always go in the same place or have outrageous movement speed that they can relocate and not be troublesome for the movement of your army. Eagles can be used as chaff, Sabretusks and Fellbats for example, all can act as chaff for your army.
The key to deployment is matching your opponent's units pound for pound. You don't want to put down a unit that doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell against another unit he put down right off the top. Your unit must have support, or is capable of holding the line against whatever he puts down or your side is just going to fold. The best example is the Knights scenario I presented above. You want to be able to match your opponent in deployment, or be superior to him in deployment. I call these "drops". If your army has greater or equal to the number of drops he has (total # of units he can put down during deployment), you're in a good place. This minimizes on the chance your army will be out-deployed. The person with more chaff will have more chaff that he can put down, forcing you to put down your last unit of White Lions so he can purposely drop a power unit on your flank. Unless your army is designed to fight uphill battles, you should never let this happen.
If you know you're going to be out-deployed, you should analyze which units on his side you don't want in your flanks and deploy your answers last. This is where knowing your enemy comes into place.
Analyzing The Threats
To be successful on the battlefield and during deployment, you must first analyze threat. You must understand which units on the other side of the table can cause you most harm. This is huge. Keep in mind that army scale does not equate to the harm they can cause in combat. The best example of this is a giant unit of Skaveslaves vs. a small unit of Sword Masters. The craziest thing to assume is that the unit of Skavenslaves is going to do a lot of damage on the battlefield. Sure, there's a whole bunch of them, but their fighting prowess equates to dried fish where your Sword Masters preform like a hot knife through butter.
One of the things that 8th Ed. has going for it is big creatures. If it's a big monster on the other side of the table, this is probably worrisome. If a unit is carrying Great Weapons, it's probably going to do a lot of damage. If a unit is carrying Great Weapons and is in horde formation, it's probably something you should deploy smartly against because that thing is going to fuck your shit up if you play dumb. The most pronounced threats on the battlefield are normally the ones your opponent has heroes and lords going into it. It's either going to be a caster bunker, or a frontline unit that'll do solid bits of damage.
Remember what I said about battlefield roles? Your opponent does the same thing with his army. He knows what his frontline units are, which ones do the most damage and which ones are designed to hold the line. You know his primary sources of damage and these are the ones that should be generating the highest amount of threat in your mind. You might run into scenarios where certain units don't want to be in combat at all. These are often caster bunkers or vulnerable Magelords who would hate to have an Eagle pick out his eyes. Knowing the weak points of his army can prove to be a great advantage to you during deployment and when you're playing the game. Again, understanding how the opposing army works helps greatly here.
Understanding Favorable Scenarios
Hesitation can lose you a game, but so can your ability to underestimate your troops.
Here are some examples: A scary dragon on the battlefield is not so scary when you shoot him with a billion arrows. Knights actually do quite poorly against White Lions. A small unit of Sword Masters into the side of Skavenslaves really fucks up their shit. A Spearmen unit, given enough ranks can hold a charge from most, if not all, point equivalent units in the game.
A lot of this might seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many times players second guess themselves on the battlefield. Know your army, know what each unit is designed to do (which is surprisingly easy for High Elves because everyone's so specialized), and know which scenarios go in your favor on the battlefield when paired up against any given opponent.
At the end of the day, you should always apply a unit's actual battlefield role to do battle. You should always be thinking: The only reason I'm bringing X unit is to fight against Y units. In a game of rock-paper-scissors and random surprise Mindrazors; it still works in your favor when you know what counters what.
This is definitely more in the lines of advanced players, but after so many battles, players start seeing the same numbers. A unit of 7x2 Sword Masters hits a unit of Skavenslaves. Aside from a ton of rats dying horribly, how many Sword Masters did you lose and how much CR did you generate? What about Spears? Even if you didn't charge but was instead charged by a unit of Empire Halberdiers, how many Spearmen died and how much CR did you generate via kills, ranks and standard? What about that beefy lord-class character sitting in a relatively weaker unit? I bet he can do some serious work. I'm not saying go out there and mathhammer the life out of everything in the game, but you should have an idea how your units will perform on the battlefield.
The battlefield is a pretty unpredictable place, especially when shit like magic is involved. However, successful players have a good idea of what to expect when they throw their units into combat. For the most part, players only throw their units into combat they can win. This is why predicting combat outcomes are so important. A unit of Spearmen charging a horde unit of Marauders w/ Great Weapons in the front might not be the best choice alone, but what if you plan your magic phase to get Withering off on the unit? What if you decide to combo charge with your Spears and Sword Masters on the flank so you can use your magic elsewhere? The combat res generated from the combined charge "should" win you combat.
You see how predicting combat drastically changes the way you play the game? By assessing the battlefield and seeing the game on a larger level, you are able to make plays ahead of time. The key to being a successful general is being able to see multiple instances of this at once and analyzing which ones generate the highest amount of success with the lowest number of risk. Your ability to capitalize on this is what will take you from good, to great.
Lesser of Two Evils
Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made in order for victory for be secured. Sometimes, you just have to choose. Imagine yourself in a scenario where no matter what you do, something bad is going to happen to your army. This might be a loss of a flank, a loss of a key unit or letting a horrible spell go through. If your opponent plays it right, there should be scenarios where all of these happen at the same time. Take note here for a second about what I just said. A well-played game of Warhammer is when you make your opponent sweat over the choices he has to make. No matter what choice he makes, something bad should happen to his army. That's when you know you've made a good play.
If you have to choose, always go with the play that'll guarantee you the greatest chance of victory in subsequent rounds. This is a lot harder than it looks because you have to first let that flank fall, or that unit be destroyed so you can strike back in a manner most decisive. This is why predicting combat and understanding favorable scenarios is important. In a situation like this, always put yourself in the opponent's shoes. Think from his perspective and predict what he would do after he successfully pulled off a big play. Predict what he does and counter it to the best of your advantage. Think to yourself: If he wins big on combat there and I flee, will he pursue or will he reform? If he pursues, do I have anything that can hit him in the flank or catch him in a bad spot? If he reforms, do I have anything that can strike decisively and win combat on that unit next turn?
Don't get yourself caught up in the moment. Understand that the 300 odd points of Spearmen you just fed your opponent can equate to you combo-charging his General's bunker and send it into the oblivion, then it's well worth it. If sacrifice has to be made, it has to make its points back and more. If not, then the sacrifice is not worth it.
The first thing to understand is that a small advantage is still an advantage. This is how you should analyze the winds of magic. A successful magic phase is all about analyzing which spells your opponent can afford to let go and which spells he can't. With an Lv.3 Wizard, you have access to a good amount of viable spells. That's when why you draw a big winds round, you cast moderately but still vital spells that plink at his dispel dice. These should be all moderately dangerous to the outcome of the fight in question (which will be his main focus).
Use smaller castings of hexes and augments, because a slight advantage (what he sees, and analyzes as less important), is still an advantage (huge for High Elves). A clever mage will be able to feint the significance of a fight and get off multiple spells a turn. If your opponent lets it all go because he's anticipating Mindrazor, that's his problem because now his unit is now -WS, -T and you ASF with a better combat result. Mindrazor isn't even needed at this point. If he throws dice trying to dispel your other hexes, that's less dice he has available when you actually do throw down the MR. This goes hand in hand with what I said about anticipating combat results. How badly your troops need your magic will save a lot of unneeded dice.
Redirecting focus: Say you have a unit engaged in combat and you anticipate a victory, or at least a draw result. You concentrate magic on another area of the battlefield that your opponent isn't focused on. This breaks his concentration and draws a big cloud of WTF? over his head. This happens when you see something crucial your opponent doesn't, as often times or not, players get tunnel-visioned in the combat they're in but don't grasp the wider vision of the battlefield. Hexing incoming Knights on your turn with -WS or -S will make much more of a difference than watching Sword Masters narrowly win combat vs. a flanking unit of Clanrats.
Baiting and Feinting
Fleeing from a battlefield is not always a sign of cowardice. It can also be used to bait an opponent out of position or force him into a position he doesn't want to be in. The best example of this could be a unit of Spears fleeing from a charge of Bretonnian Knights. God knows you don't want to take that charge in the face so you opt to flee with your Spearmen. He now has two choices: Take a Ld. test to charge something else, or roll for the Spears. Say that you have a unit of White Lions or Sword Masters next to the Spears. Does he really want to re-direct into the Lions or SM? Or does he want to risk the charge and risk exposing his flank to the Lions?
You see what you just did here? A simple flee can put your opponent between a rock and a hard place (especially if the charge is long). Both scenarios equally suck for him so he might opt to not charge at all. This is also good for you because it gives you the chance to charge his Knights the next turn! And if he doesn't opt to charge, your Spears will still be there to assist in the main battle. Warhammer can be a game of cat and mouse, so it's best to know all the options available to you before you commit. If you plan on charging something, know all the possible reactions your opponent can take before investing. You don't want to be in the same shoes as the above player.
Counter-charges and Flanking
Sometimes, the good ol' hammer and anvil is something even the experienced players forget. The concept of a counter-charge is simple: Unit #1 is a unit that can take hits - in the case of High Elves, a giant block of Spears with Steadfast CR up the ass. This is known as the anvil. Unit #2 is a unit that hits hard as fuck but dies to a soft breeze. Sword Masters are an popular choice for a hammer. Your opponent charges your Spearmen because it's the only viable target and you hold knowing that your Sword Masters (who are conveniently placed on your flank), will have a flank charge next round. Magic is invested in keeping the Spearmen alive and steadfast while the Sword Masters charge their flank next turn. Heads start rolling and combat heavily swings your way, winning you the day.
Flanking is also quite simple: Place something that has good threat range on the far sides of your army and use them as CR generators. I normally like using Dragon Princes for this type of role. Put 5 of these guys down on a wide-flank and they can be used to reliably add CR to any combat mid-field. Flanking can also be used to bypass some of your opponents' attention to hit warmachines and other units chilling in their backfield. Lastly, flanking is also good for having additional CR in combat. An Eagle charging from the far flank gives you 2 CR for just having the balls to be there. It's pretty much free CR.
Winning combat, now what?
So now that you've won combat, you have to think about what to do next. Unfortunately, most players think about this step immediately after the combat resolves. I want you to take a step back and think about what can happen even before you charge. If you charge now, and win a victory over your opponent, can you overrun into an important caster bunker in back? Does your opponent have anything that can crush your overrun if you choose to do so? Is your unit stretched too far and out of range of your BSB? Is he out of his BSB? If you push the advantage, will your advantage be negated if he engages the rest of your army while your best unit is out of position? Winning combat is important for sure, but what happens after is even more important. You must be in a favorable situation to benefit from it: The result of a successful charge should net you more success in the subsequent turns than harm.
Keep in mind that you don't have to keep going after you wiped out a unit. Check to see if the unit has been mauled enough that the only way he can rally is if he rolls double 1s. Sometimes the position you're in begs you to combat reform and stay still. If you commit anymore, you might go from crushing victory to outright defeat. Never lose sight of the bigger picture and don't over extend yourself. Unless you're Stubborn, or have a unit that's incapable of losing combined charges in the next round of combat, it's best to wait for the rest of your army. You want to be in magic support range, you want to be in BSB range and you want to be in support charge range of other units. Don't forget this.
Another thing to keep in mind is Line of Sight. If your unit can surge forward enough after winning combat that'll take him out of LoS (and thus enemy charges), this is a great advantage. It allows you to drive deep in the enemy lines and force him to turn around or suffer a rear charge from you in the subsequent turns. This also allows your main force to advance and catch him in a vice. Surely this is a good thing as even the most lackwit of generals know that enemy forces running in their backfield is bad.
Lost combat, now what?
So your beautiful charge turned into a crushing defeat, what now? Obviously, this means your unit will be running back to your lines like a whipped dog. Don't worry, you can now look into the future and analyze why you lost combat and how you can regain the momentum in the next phase of the game. Maybe something completely unpredictable happened in the magic phase that killed your opportunities in combat? This is the single biggest factor in how combats can sway. This is also something I want you to remember: Magic can greatly skew the outcome of any combat you're invested in. Think about this before you charge, and understand what magic lores he has that can shift momentum in his favor. In order for you to succeed in combat, you must dispel the magic he will use to turn combat in his favor. This is not negotiable.
After losing combat, you need to analyze several things:
Did he Overrun? If so, are you in a position where you can take advantage of his over-extension? Did he Combat Reform? If so, are you able to counter-attack next turn? What made you lose combat? Was it some beefy character or was it magic that turned the tides? How do you not lose combat again? Neutralize the beefy character (or avoid him completely) and dispel the magic that sways combat his way. Is your fleeing unit useless? Treat the game as if you're 1 down, but don't forget about the fleeing unit. Even if he's below 25%, you can still test for double 1s.
When ahead, stay ahead
The philosophy behind this concept is simple: Don't do anything stupid that'll throw away your lead. What happens most of the time when players start winning is they start playing careless. This is a sure way to lose your lead and put you behind in a game where you're almost guaranteed to win. A great example of this would be killing your opponent's Dragon Lord and 1-2 Hydras with your Warmachines first turn before they even get to do anything and still managing to lose the game. I don't know how this happens, but players get lost the ecstasy of great plays (or luck) and think now that the main threats are gone that the game is in their hands. This is the wrong way to approach a lead.
The more appropriate way to take advantage of a lead is to think: How do I get further ahead? You want to be in a position where your next step is to eliminate any and all possible ways the opponent can swing the game around. You put yourself in his position and you think to yourself: I just lost my Dragon Lord and my Hydras, so what can I do now to walk away from the table like a man? Once you think about the situation from your opponent's mindset, you counter it and deny him of it. With no victory options in sight, your opponent will have no choice but to fold.
Now that the game is won (or lost), you can look back and see what you can do to improve. Human beings are meant to improve; we're a race of learners and adapters. No matter how badly you just massacred your opponent or how crushing your defeat, there's always something to take away from the game. The most important part here is that you must learn from your game to improve. If you won the game, think about the scenarios you could have done better. If you lost the game, think about why you lost and which units caused the most problems. Think about all the topics that were covered above. There must be something you could have done better in the never-ending list of becoming a better general.
It's important that you discuss the game with your opponent. Talk about how the battle could have gone differently if you did this or that. How his game could have changed if he did this or that. Not only does this give you a better perspective on the game (and your opponent's army), but also the player you're playing against. Share your thoughts with your opponent and let him share his with yours. Criticism and advice should be taken with an open mind. It helps broaden your perspective on other general's opinions and makes you a better-rounded player overall.
How Close Combat works
Combat is an elaborate and multi-step action, with success coming down to probability. New players often don't know what a unit needs for each step and often over-invest for phases a unit shouldn't bother dealing with.
Breaking down the phases of close combat, plus how and when you should win them.
Out DPS the Enemy
This is the most straightforward part. Each unit swings their weapons and hopes that more enemies than frendlies die.
Many new players are focusing on this one, taking the hardest-hitting units clad in the heaviest armour in hopes to delete the enemy with near-guaranteed damage. This is valid, especially when it comes down to removing small units or tarpiting cheese.
Experienced people aim for a balance of numbers, decent rolls against common matchups, and cost-effectiveness (so you get more guys). Ideally, the damage phase is won by how many 4s, 5s, and 6s you rolled.
Dealing damage is only a mean to influence the more important step - Combat Resolution. It doesn't matter too much if you take more losses, because this score is what determines the skirmish's victor.
Reflects all the psychological factors that causes a unit to run from a fight.
If you get more CR points than the enemy, often by taking initiative in the fight, you win and the enemy must roll leadership to stay in the fight.
There are several important factors: inflicting wounds (why killy units often win), charges, having more ranks and twice the models than the enemy, having a standard or a proper sized unit in enemy's side or rear, or have the HIGH GROUND
Each Command Group option (almost) always costs 10 points and adds some value to a unit. You could have brought an upgrade or more models for these points, so it is essential to know which units need which upgrades.
Champions: - It is always good value for a melee unit, most often has +1A (or +1BS if its a dedicated shooting unit) and re-roll failed rolls to march, re-direct charges, reforms, or restrain from pursuit. On solid and expensive guys like Ogres, Champions can squeeze in more killing potential for the units. On the Skirmish or Fast Cavalry unit, they ensure that the unit does as it's told. If you don't need more movement control or melee support, like, for example, most of the stationary ranged units, it is generally safe to skip a champion.
Musicians: - Gives an edge in case of a tie in combat resolution step, grants reroll to rally rolls, and let the unit reform before they move. They're your man if you need a unit to make sudden pivots like regular cavalry. Swift Reform is not as valuable on Fast calvary, but their musicians come discounted. It can also be suitable for shooting units with non-cumbersome weapons like bows and slings to readjust their line of sight against fast-moving targets (the swift reform does count as moving with the usual -1 to hit and can't shoot with handguns-esque weaponry).
Standard Bearers: - Provide a +1 to COMBAT RESOLUTION, but you lose them when the unit breaks in melee (only in melee, the enemy captures them or something. In other cases of breaking, standard survives). For more elite units (plus now most normal rank&file troops in 9th), Banners can be enchanted to grant a unit a myriad of bonuses. For basics troops, think about if they need the +1. Archers shouldn't be in melee so can skip safely this. On the other hand, Elite troops have to consider all the magical banners; mayhaps one will bring an easy victory?
Only characters can issue and accept challenges. Unit Champions in 9th can no longer tie-down a blender lord. Don't ever accept a challenge with a Wizard, losing some points of leadership and their (typically) weak attacks is not worth risking them dying. With 'Make Way' letting each character swap places with one model in base-to-base contact model, how you position your heroes in a unit is more important than ever.
Poison has changed significantly from previous edition, from a rolling 6 to hit for an auto wound, to a flat +1 to wound rolls. Although this doesn't help overcoming high armour, poison works wonders against high toughness better than a point of strength. For starters no matter the strength/toughness difference, you always wound at least on a 5+. Poison is also commonly applied to bows and blowpipes to easily dispose of T3 foes. It is also useful against monsters as they most often have high toughness but almost no armour.
The small downside is that Poison immunity is also very common, even universally present in Undead and Deamon factions. Don't spend all your points on it, you should also have conventional High Strength attacks as backup against immunities.
A handful of rule changes have shifted the balance and best use of characters. In 8th edition Level 4 Wizards had a constant +4 to cast and had the best chance of getting the good spells in a lore. Now both Level 3 and 4 only get +2 and Wizards in general get to choose their spells, while also getting the signature for free. Additionally, almost all the 'save or die' aoe spells have been nerfed and magic resistance is more common and more useful. Lastly, optimal unit sizes have been decreased, with the loss of horde, units being unable to be deeper than wider and the nerfing of steadfast and inspiring presence, dumping all your points into a deathstar is less effective. What this means for Wizards is that your augment, hex or direct damage won't have a single target that when you get it off on it wins the game.
Building on this, characters who buff their unit are less effective because their unit is likely smaller and have a greater chance to flee off the field.
Okay, so what type of characters are good in this edition? Melee lords, especially on a monster, are more viable than ever.
Here are a handful of rules which create this circumstance:
- Champions can no longer issue or accept challenges, so no more wasting your Star Dragon Mounted Prince's 11 attacks on a Skaven Pack Leader.
- Armour saves are combined like regular cavalry. If you're sitting on a dragon wearing heavy armour, you got a 1+ save, congrats.
- Regeneration saves work with ward saves.
- Warmachines are generally worse. Bolt throwers no longer ignore armour saves and cannons scatter.
- Price reduction in magic weapons and armour (the +1,2,3 A/S blades are all 25% cheaper for example).
- Unit Strength returns, while still not allowing your character to disrupt a unit, does contribute to steadfast and the outnumbered static CR bonus.
Know your Stats
Mostly directed at anyone new to Warhammer, understanding the distribution of numbers on a unit entry affects the fights outcome. Understanding what stats are particularly high or low in the enemy's army book can help to determine if a bonus to strength or initiative on a unit is a wasteful overkill or a deciding factor in various matchups.
Determines who goes first in a fight, it's important to many units. In a combat round not going first will risk your units not getting their full buckets of dice as some of your dudes get diced before getting their attack off. Especially important if they are fragile, but less so if they have very good protection or if their unit is so big, the loss of men will not affect your combat power.
The initiative is boosted by 1 on charges and certain weapons also affect it. Spears and Lances let your cavalry have a combined total of +2 and +3 respectively when you charge, while Spears and Pikes on infantry give a +1 or +3 respectively if they get charged by something bigger than them. There is also a factor of some armies having such a big gap between their initiatives (ie. Elves vs the majority of books) that trying to go first is pointless most of the time.
The initiative is often tied to race so here is a quick lineup by order of slowest to quickest:
- -: non-attacking objects, stomp attacks - Stomps in particular are resolved after absolutely everything else, including ASL attacks.
- -0.5: affected by Always Stikes Last - ASL does not reduce the initiative but states that model attacks after everyone else
- 0: Slow race with great weapons - Dwarfs with great weapons have an effective initiative of 0, but still attack before ASL
- 1: Saurus Warriors, Humans with great weapons
- 2: Greenskins, Dwarfs, Ogres, Nurgle, Elite Humans with great weapons and most often skeletons
- 3: Humans, Elves with great weapons
- 4: Elite humans, Norskans, Chaos warriors, Skinks, Skaven
- 5: Elves, vampires
The first dice roll barrier for determining who dies hit or not. Unlike most characteristics, having 1 more or less than your importance doesn't have as much impact on a unit's matchup but does matter the greater the disparity is, which more often happens when normal troops fight Elven and Chaos characters.
from least to greatest the to-hit roll is as follows:
- 6+: Defender's WS is x2+3 >= of attacker's
- 5+: Defender's WS is x2 > of attacker's
- 4+: Defender's WS is x2 <= attacker's but of attacker's WS is x2 < Defender's
- 3+: Attacker's WS is > of Defender's
- 2+: Attacker's WS is x2 >= of Defender's
A simple +1 to WS doesn't matter too much outside getting a +1 to hit. Because of how little boosting by small numbers means, effects that allow a unit to reroll failed to hit rolls are common in Warhammer like the Hatred rule or Alway Strike First Rule while having higher initiative.
As the brackets for the too hit chances are more tied to having more WS than the opponent rather than just a bigger number, making the ability to lower the enemy's WS like Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma from the lore of shadows a more valuable asset than just boosting your own, especially if your unit already has slightly more Weapons Skill.
The Weapon Skill often ties into the eliteness of a unit so here is a quick lineup by order of slowest to quickest:
- 0 or -: Terrain and Warmachine, rolled a 3 for a Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma like a spell or stacking debuffs - can't attack, and melee attacks auto-hit
- WS 1: Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma like spell and/or stacking debuffs - most troops are hitting you on 2s and hitting back on 5s at best.
- WS 2: Goblins, Skeletons & Zombies, Drafted Expentabel meatshield, a bad Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma roll, one instance of WS debuff - Not that bad just getting hit on 3s and hitting back on 4s. Less when elites hit on 2+s. Elves are 5+ but you likely have buckets of dice if WS2 was your default.
- WS 3: the majority of everyone, and many monsters - Considered the default, From here unless punching down, the majority thing of equal or grater WS are 4+ to hit.
- WS 4: Elite fighters that train their entire lives, Dwarfs, those support heroes that can hold their own in a fight - the 3 is meant to be the common man but 4 are the guy your trying to get into combat. +1 to hit the common man but are often given gear designed to fight elite things so don't always matter.
- WS 5: In human lands, you would be the best sword in the region, Centuries-old Chaos warriors, Bloodletter, Daemonette, and the lowly elven levies are on par - hitting most other troops on 3s, and those affected with Miasma will have a hard time.
- WS 6: the greatest swords arms of the times, human lords, exalted champions of chaos, Vampires, dedicated elven warriors - safe to say that you hitting everyone on 3 or better
- WS 7, 8, 9: your a named, elf, or a chaos character. Fights between chaff are 2+ vs 5+ but rarely this is not the best thing they should be fighting unless riding or are a monster.
- WS 10: You equipped the Fencer's Blades. -
You can decide yourself what base size you place your models on. That being said, there are minimum sizes for each type and some specific units. It's in the rulebook as well as WAP website. The latter is more up to date. The base size will affect how effective particular units are for certain roles.
- Generally, models with smaller base widths allow them to perform better at maneuvers and allow more models to participate in melee conflicts. Purposefuly placing models on a larger bases works out better on units intending to block others, making it harder to maneuver around while providing cover for those behind them.
Know your Races
In Warhammer Fantasy the main race of an army will greatly affect strategy and how an army book can be played. In addition to equipment, Knowing what race a unit is made of will affect what is the best tools to deal with it.
- Chaos Warriors:
What is a chariot
The chariot is a unique unit type that plays slightly differently from most units.
They are small, durable packages that deal a large amount of shock damage.
They are not as maneuverable or fast as most as cavalry units. They always get -1M than the mount pulling them (now included in stat block) (their Movement is often 7" with elven chariot being 8 while 5 is the slowest possible, but they can still be on top of the enemy in two turns) and can only take wheel maneuvers, so you have to constantly deal with turning radius' wasting possibly three to four turns rather than simply pivoting around and march forward next turn when they end up near the board edge.
The tactical power of the chariot over its downsides is its durability, having more wounds, toughness, and armour than a unit of cavalry of the same price. Offensively, they have fewer attacks but stronger impact hits that are more likely to kill things (still have to contend with a random 6d).
Chariots work best as unit pinners and extra damage when coordinated with another unit. They are tougher fast movers for the price but can be taken down when focused down, especially Chariots belonging to lightly armored factions like wood elves. Always be moving, and always be charging. Chariot points are badly spent if you get to charge with it once and die due to combat resolution a turn later.
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