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"What was it about 5th Ed that made it Hero Hammer?" Topic

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837 hits since 19 May 2017
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Xintao19 May 2017 12:33 p.m. PST

I've been getting very nostalgic about Warhammer lately and have been looking at playing some Oldhammer.

I was wondering what specific rules made Heroes so badass in 5th? Was it just overpowering stats? Or was it game rules that favored the Heroes in combat?


Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP19 May 2017 12:50 p.m. PST

It was mostly overpowering stats.

A Chaos champion with a mark of Khorne on a chaos steed with a lance was getting something like 10 attacks plus the attacks from his horse.

Hitting on 3+ and wounding on 2+ he was getting 5 wounds a turn by himself. His horse might get one or two in addition to that.

He had a 1+ save, so rank and file had little chance of hurting him unless they had great weapons or halberds.

If they had great weapons or halberds they weren't able to attack because he charged them and killed all the models in base to base.

With spears they needed 4 or 5 to hit, 5 to wound and then he had a 2+ save so the chances of him getting wounded were slim to none as they probably had at most 3 attacks from the second rank.

So he gets 5+ Combat resolution, the unit has 3 rank bonus and a standard so 4. They lose by 1 at least. With a general nearby and a standard they will probably pass the test if they just lost by 1, but if it was by 3 or more they will probably break, get run down and destroyed and then the Chaos champion is in your rear.

He can't charge the next turn but can the turn after that.

If he was on a monster it was even worse.

Chaos armies could just sit back and watch their general slaughter the entire elf army.

They toned down characters in 6th edition AND gave the units the outnumbering bonus bringing most units to a Combat Resolution of 5 without putting out a single wound.

Most characters had 3 attacks, frenzy only added 1 instead of doubling the number of attacks I think.

VVV reply19 May 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

Individual characters being able to break entire units. There was one chaos character who sometimes could beat an entire army.

JMcCarroll Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 5:00 p.m. PST

1st or 2nd Gen. Slann! Dragon fighting stats, 5th level Wizard.

Pythagoras19 May 2017 6:49 p.m. PST

T6 Vampire Lords!!!

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 7:22 p.m. PST

Was it all characters, or the combo with too many magic items? I have seen many argue that if you limited magic items then the characters were far less problematic.

VVV reply20 May 2017 1:13 a.m. PST

I used to play for a competition team called the Northern Warlords. In one of our practice games, one of our players used 4 Elven mages, an eagle and 2 units of 6 Elven cavalry. He slaughtered me. I am sure if you added house rules you could have got a more balanced game but that is not how the rules were written.

JMcCarroll Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2017 2:18 p.m. PST

With a Slann and ABS I never had a Lizardman army unit break.

Achtung Minen21 May 2017 3:43 p.m. PST

@Pictors, technically a frenzied Champion of Khorne would only get 6 attacks, plus one S4 attack for his steed, and there is a 42% chance that he would be permanently reduced to 4 attacks after each round of combat, but yeah… the overall point is valid. Chaos had some really scary characters. The worst armies for powerful characters were Chaos, Undead and Dwarfs, with several other armies having extremely powerful special characters as well. Other armies (Orcs & Goblins, Empire, all the Elves, Skaven) really didn't have overpowered characters so they didn't really do Herohammer like Chaos, Undead and Dwarfs did.

Anyway, my take on why heroes were so powerful has less to do with their stats… I would argue that a Chaos Champion without any magic items or Marks of Chaos is actually completely balanced for his point cost, just like any other heroes for any other army. For 61 points, you get three S5 attacks that are going to hit on 3+ against anything except for other heroes, but the guy only has 1 Wound and T4. I'd fancy my odds with 61 points of regular troops against him. The thing that made him ridiculous, as it did for every overpowered character, was magic items and things like magic items. Give him Mark of Khorne, and he becomes a 1+ save cavalry with 6 attacks. True, you can dangle a Great Eagle in front of a Frenzied character to bait him into leaving his regiment and then spend the rest of the game leading him in a fruitless chase around the table, but he's still a powerful and annoying enemy. Dwarfs could custom design their magic rune weapons, which led to powerful combos, and Undead has Vampire Lords which let you have a powerful spellcaster that wasn't squishy and easy to kill and could take four magic items. Add the magic items from Warhammer Magic and you get some lethal combos… Khorne Hero with Helm of Many Eyes and a two handed weapon (or just Sword of Destruction and Chaos Armour, for that matter), a Vampire Count with Carstein Ring and Heart of Woe, pretty much any high level caster with Forbidden Rod and a Healing Potion…

So I'd agree… magic items make Herohammer. At the same time, they were the best cure for Herohammer. You know that nasty Chaos Lord you tooled up and spent half your points on? Yeah, he just got Black Gem of Gnar'd… sorry! Herohammer is just plain fun if you are playing it with the right people and you just want to have a wild, over the top game where you play to see crazy stuff happen. I can't tell you how many improbable things happened to us in 5th Edition… like the brave Empire cannon crew that held out against a Wizard Lord in close combat for the entire game, or when a chain reaction of failed leadership tests led to a mass route in turn 2, or when basically anything humanly imaginable happened to the Orcs & Goblins army… really, if you can imagine it, it happened to us! It is just plain fun, as long as no one is taking themselves too seriously and you're playing to see what happens!

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP21 May 2017 5:57 p.m. PST

WE had a game where my Chaos champ got a Van Horstman's speculum used on him. It took him two whole turns to kill the guy that used it.

Centurio Prime22 May 2017 6:42 a.m. PST

Tzeentch Lord on a disk with the Hydra Sword and smart play could mincemeat rank and file units.

Achtung Minen22 May 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

That is not what Hydra Sword does though! It doesn't give you extra attacks, it says that explicitly on the card!

Centurio Prime23 May 2017 12:07 p.m. PST

I was thinking of 4th edition. A common misinterpretation of the hydra sword was that it did the hits to the unit overall. Also there was a point (don't remember which edition) where you could overkill the unit champion in a challenge and the wounds counted towards combat resolution. Another thing was there used to be no requirement to have at least 5 models on a flank to negate rank bonuses. So a fast character with a decent number of attacks could have a good chance of routing a unit with a flank attack anyway.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2017 4:52 p.m. PST

That is not what Hydra Sword does though! It doesn't give you extra attacks, it says that explicitly on the card!

Well I played against WAAC'ers who did just that and one even got one of the stupid umpires of an event to agree.

There are gamers who will do anything to give them an edge even if they are to cheat.

If your character with the Hydra Sword had 5 attacks that is all you get so if you were fighting just plain Rank & File all you would be able to do is kill just five guys and not 15 – 20 guys.

It was a great weapon against characters though but not against Rank & File.

But back then it was all about getting that charge in so that you could kill off that Front Rank so there would be no attacks coming back against you.

There were times when certain WAAC'ers would put there tooled up General/Warlord at the corner of an unit and work it so that just he would be in close combat.

Said General/Warlord would then start killing everything with there 4-7 high strength attacks.

This is why challenges came into the game.

Plus certain Magical Items were in nearly every army and as Achtung Minen has pointed out it are these Magical Items that made the game into HeroHammer.

Had a game back then where my character traded off Black Gem saves against an Opponent character. this went on for several rounds back and worth until he finally rolled under a "4" thus failing his save and dying.

Also lost an event where me and the guy who ended up winning the event basically had the same army (we were both playing High Elves).

He got the first turn and got the charge of first with his Silver Helms against my Silver Helms and was able to shoot the Griffin out from under my General.

It was all about getting that charge or suckering in your opponent to charge the unit that you know will hold him up.

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