tiistai 14. helmikuuta 2017

War altars in 3rd edition WFB

This article is something I have wanted to do since I wrote about baggage trains a few months ago. I´ve been working on it slowly and now I was able to found myself time to finish this.

War altars are another great element that add character to a 3rd edition WFB army. As the WFB: Armies book tells us they are small portable altars carried onto the battlefield and guarded by religious fanatics. Their presence encourages friendly troops meaning that you get special benefits for troop spychology.

As per rules the war altars are carried around by 2-5 religious fanatics called altar guards. They defend the altar with their lives and are immune to all psychology and rout test while within 6" of the altar. Carrying the altar reduced the altar guards movement by half.

There are two nice bonuses that come with a war altar. First, all friendly troop within 12" of the war altar receive +1 bonus to their hand-to-hand combat resolution score. The other benefit is that all friendly troops within 12" of the altar receive +2 bonus to their leadership, up to the maximum of LD10.

But losing a war altar can be a disaster. If a war altar is captured or desecrated all friendly troop within 12" must make an immediate rout test.

Some armeies may mount their war altar on a wagon. A wagon mounted war altar is treated as a wagon but retains it´s psychological effects.

In the WFB: Armies book there are four armies that can field a war altar. They are dark elves, chaos, bretonnia and slann.  In this posting I want to present material regarding war altars for all those four armies. I´ve included only such projects that are clearly for 3rd edition WFB so newer concepts like cauldron of blood and war altar of Sigmar are out.

I´ve looked for both complete sets and WIP projects. And as with the baggage train compendium almost all are not my projects. I´ve added a link to owners blog or site when I´ve managed to find one. Please let me know if you want you pic or blog or whatever added. Or if you don´t like you picture used here.

Dark Elves

Goblin Lee disected the pro´s and con´s for a dark elf war altar in his blog.
This is my list that differs a bit from his:

Psychological bonuses
Chance to take magical standard and/or instrument

Slow movement

I don´t think that altar guards having both hatred and frenzy is a problem as the war altar rules state that altar guards are immune all psychology and rout test while within 6" of the altar. Please let me know if you think that my intepretation of the rules is wrong.

Even though it is in WIP stage I wanted to have Willmark´s war altar here as the first one to be presented because of the resemlance between to picture in WFB: Armies and the scratch build altar. Progress of this project and rest of Willmark´s dark elf force can be followed on Oldhammer forum.

This is a war altar/cauldron of blood by Pahvivalmiste. The cauldron itself is scratch build and altar guards are midhammer witch elves. Check out Pahvivalmiste´s gorgeous dark elf army here.

My own humble dark elf war altar project is in a really early WIP stage. The idol itself is painted and I´ve started working on the altar guards but there is still a long way to go.


Psychological bonuses
Heavy armor gives some endurance
Increased mobility and combat ability if mounted on carriage
Chance to take a 100 points magic standard

Normal humans as altar guards are pretty weak in combat
Slow without carriage

Perhaps the grand mother of all chaos war altars. War altar of Nurgle by Ivan Bartleet from WD125.

Wheel of Pain - War altar of Chaos by Bluey Zarzov. For more pictures chech out his blog.

This one is by Asslesman. Presented in this thread at Oldhammer forum.


Psychological bonuses
Heavy armor and optional shield gives good protection
Optional halberds boost combat ability
Chance to take a magic standard
Increased mobility and combat ability if mounted on carriage

Normal humans as altar guards are pretty weak in combat
Slow without carriage, superslow if using shield too.

The Round Table of Bretonnia site has this war altar. Another picture on the site.

A very nice carriage mounted war altar by Warhamster. His Bretonnian collection is presented on Oldhammer forum.


Psychological bonuses
Warrior priests as altar guards (WS4, S4, T4, A2)
Chance to take a 100 points magic standard
Chance to be placed on litter

Only shields for protection
Just four altar guards

Again I shall refer to Goblin Lee´s blog. And as with dark elves I don´t fully agree with the frenzy rule here. But again - let me know what you think.

Goblin Lee´s Slann war altar on a litter. Carried by lobotomized humans and guarded by warrior priests. Very nice!

 Hope that you enjoyed reading and perhaps got some inspiration to your army building.

5 kommenttia:

  1. Excellent work! In fact you've touched on a project that I'll be having a go at, the Chaos War altar. Like you I'm inspired by Ivan Bartleet's Nurgle version, but I also like the smaller, mobile illustration from Warhammer Armies. You've just made the project jump the queue slightly...

  2. Thank you Stuart! It´s nice to hear my ramblings do make an impact every now and then :)

  3. Great article,very interesting.

    Thank you for the doulbe mentioning of my blog as well.

    One of the additional problems I found with War Altars was when they were equiped with Magical Standards on them. The Taslimanic standard means that you end up clustering your Wizards close to it in orderto use the magic points. With Slann on Palaquins I found this created a blockage in the middle of the army.

    With other that have a range effect, such as the HellFire Banner, you end up having to move them close to the taget to use the bound spell. This opens them up to missile fire, close combat, and just gettin gin the way.

    Still, I think they are worth taking if you can, and fun to make.

  4. Thank you Lee! I really appreciate your feedback. It's really easy to refer to your blog as you seem to have like everything. Btw have you had time to paint your high elves? I really envy that collection of Elwing's cavalry.

    1. Thank you, glad you like the blog.
      I have'nt got around to painting the High Elves yet, but I plan to return to painting an army from each of the Warhammer Armies lists once I have finished my Snakemen. I have got distracted by other projects recently.
      I do want to go back to do a review of each of the army lists again, like I did with the Dark Elves and Slann. The problem was that it was taking several evening to write, and I never got around to painting!
      Concerning the High Elves, I have been sorting out the Melniboneans recently, but I intend to assemble the High Elf army around around Elwings Cavalry. Now you mentioned them, I might find them and look at writing an army list.
      I really enjoyed your article, and I might build a couple more War Altars now, one for Chaos, another for the Bretonnians.