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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Warriors of Chaos - what will it mean?

As many of you have probably heard, Warriors of Chaos is the next army book to be released for Warhammer Fantasy. I won't be posting any leaked pictures of units or a compiled list of expected rule changes, as I'm quite convinced that those of you interested in such can find that quite easily if you haven't stayed up to date (my blog list is a good place to start, for example).

Rather, I wanted to look at some of these rumored rule changes and new units through the green lens of an Orc (or Goblin) player and ask the question: what will the new Warriors of Chaos mean for the Waaagh?!

New Monsters and likely upgrade of Dragon Ogres:
Monsters have never been a problem for Greenskins, as we have both Black Orcs, Trolls and cheap artillery to deal with them. Even the Giant is usually a good problem solver when up against a large beasty. The Doom Diver is fantastic in dealing with Skullcrushers and (most likely) Dragon Ogres as well. In melee, Trolls will be able to deal with both without THAT much trouble.

No Marks on Marauders:
This is a fantastic change for us Greenskins, as Khorne-marked Marauder lists were always a lot more challenging to face than Warrior-heavy armies or Chosen-deathstars. Marauders were as cheap as our hordes, but had higher or equal WS and higher initiative. Flails were always extremely difficult to fight against, while Great Weapons at least gave our Trolls and Squigs a change to trim the Marauder numbers before it got to fighting. Without Khorne Marks, our Squigs Herds will be able to chew up Marauder hordes, flails or no flails.

Mark of Khorne granting Hatred rather than Frenzy:
I'm torn on this topic. On one hand, Warriors would always be hitting our units on a 3+ which means that Frenzy made Khorne Warriors do a lot more damage on our troops than if they were to have Hatred (they weren't missing a lot of attacks to begin with). That being said, us Greenskins are known for our throwaway-units, so if you for some reason didn't want to fight frenzied Chaos Warriors you didn't have to, as you could usually feed them enough cheap units to chase off the battlefield that they wouldn't get to your valuable mobs. Now, if Khorne Warriors are hateful instead, you are going to have to fight them, and my advice as always is to fight them with trains of Night Goblins with Nets and a Monster to the flank or corner-to-corner. A Wyvern or the Giant usually works the best (S6 is really important against Warriors).

Magic Lores:
Rumor has it that Tzeentch Wizards may use Lore of Metal, Slaanesh Wizards may use Lore of Shadows and Nurgle Wizards can pick Lore of Death. I usually had the most problems with Tzeentch Wizards using their own Lore, with Gateway, Flickering Fire and Pandemonium my least favorite spells to face. I was either miscasting and failing leadership rolls without my General's Inspiring Presence helping, or taking a surprising amount of high strength attacks on my troops, or simply losing an entire unit just like that. It seems unlikely that the Lore of Tzeentch will be as deadly this time around.

Although very little has been mentioned about the one artillery piece of the Chaos army, I think it's safe to assume that it will no longer shoot a S5 blast, given that all other artillery in new army books have been lowered in strength. Still, the Hellcannon can be formidable in battle, so I suggest bringing a Giant or a Wyvern to fight it off.

All in all, I feel good about our chances as Greenskins going up against the new Warriors of Chaos. I always said that one of my most difficult matchups were the northern barbarian tribes, as they wanted to fight as much as I did but were always better at it. Plus their spells were more effective against my troops than mine against theirs (baring the Foot of Gork, all other spells were usually below average in effectiveness against them). So I am looking forward to the new matchup, and I expect a more entertaining set of rules to fight against and an overall less imposing army to stomp beneath our steel-clad boots. Soon we will know!