lauantai 18. helmikuuta 2017

War altars revisited

One of the things that I love about the Oldhammer community is it´s ability provide you with new ideas or different angles of a view. In my previous posting I wrote about the war altars in WFB 3rd edition. That article created some discussion both here at my blog and at couple of Oldhammer facebook groups. I was happy to note that at least some of my readers had been inspired by my article and were resurrecting their war altar projects or starting new ones.

Because of that discussion and the feedback I received I felt that there was a need to revisit the concept of war altars and the parts I missed writing that first article.


Thantsant who is the author of a wonderful Somewhere the Tea´s getting cold blog commented my article in the Oldhammer community facebook group telling me that he has built a war altar for his hobgoblin army. He also remembered reading something about hobgoblin war altars in the 3rd edition rule book. I had to take a look and he was right.

In the bestiary at page 221 there are special rules hobgoblins. It says that:
  1. Hobgoblin forces always carry their army standard into battle. This takes the form of a staff or pole bearing a trophy or sign, and is carried in a small wagon drawn by a span of fierce Hobhounds. So long as their standard remains intact, any Mournguls are subject to frenzy. The army standard, its wagon and crew must be included.
  2. The Hobgoblin standard is the symbol of a tribe´s honor. Any enemy engaged in close combat against it is hated by all Mourngul units on the table.
  3. The standard is a potent magic symbol to the Hobgoblin wizards. Totems always have the ability to act as magical reservoir as described under magical standards. All Hobgoblin wizards on that side must surrender half of their magic points before the battle and place them in the standard.
Even if it is called an army standard that resembles a carriage mounted war altar a lot in my opinion.As far as I know the hobgoblins are the only race presented in the original rule book to have this kind of army standard/war altar special rule.

Somewhat sadly the hobgoblin army standard/war altar concept was dropped from the WFB: Armies book. The hobgoblin mercenary contingent can still include a contingent standard bearer who has a option for 100 point magic standard. But the standard is no longer something you have to take nor it is automatically a magical reservoir. In the psychology part for hobgoblins it still says that:
  • The contingent standard is a sacred tribal fetish. As long as the standard remains intact, all hobgoblins are subject to frenzy. Any enemy unit engaged in close combat with the standard bearer will be hated by all hobgoblins.
Even with the similarities with the original rule the new ones are missing the war altar aspect and therefore feel sort of diluted.

Thantsant gave me permission to use his pictures here. Please check out the rest of his hobgoblin force. They even have a baggage train - I might be time to update my baggabe train posting. Or do a similar revisit.

Thantsant´s hobgoblin war altar and it´s guards/crew.

A closer look at the center piece.

Undead Plague Cart

In Oldhammer Finland facebook group it was pointed out that the undead Plague cart has a lot of similarities with war altars.In the WFB: Armies the rules for Undead Plague Cart are these:
  1. Any undead unit with models within 12" of the undead cart may add +1 to the D6 score in the instability test.
  2. The Plague Cart causes fear in living creatures.
  3. The Plague Cart has a movement allowance of 5" and may move over all terrain and through all obstacles except buildings with no penalty; movement through solid walls and in/out of buildings costs half of the cart´s movement for that turn.
  4. The undead cart may be attacked like an ordinary wagon.
Of course the plague cart does not give any psychological bonus but a +1 to instability test is very nice. And the fact that it can move through any terrain without penalty makes it possible for the cart to keep up with the rest of the troops. Losing a plague cart to enemy is not penalized meaning that you can take closer to enemy than you would do with a war altar. In a way plague cart is a war altar for the undead.

A thing of interest is a fact that there is also a different set of rules for a plague cart. They were presented in WD94 with this advertisment.

So somewhere along the way the plague cart has changed from being a randomly appearing or summonable wagon of terror and undead raising that lumbers uncotrollably across the battlefield to a war altar like unit that can be included to your army by spending points. I think both concepts are cool in their own way but the original rules for a plague cart are less war altar like than the newer ones.

As citadel produced a model for plague cart the painted examples of them are a lot more common than war altars.

This is LM`s plague cart deployed with his beautiful undead army.

The creaking cart brings naught but doom and despair. This one is
by Subedai of The Lost and The Damned blog.

Nathan Firth´s plague cat from Oldhammer Melbourne blog.

Orlygg´s plague cart with a spectral driver at Realm of Chaos 80´s blog.

So just a few examples here. This would be a very loooong article if I included all the cart that come up with just googling: plague cart.

Let´s see if I can actually get something painted worth showing here. ´Till next time!

6 kommenttia:

  1. Cheers for the mention - almost forgot about the Hobgoblin baggage train! They were inspired by the Hobgoblin caravan featured in the old Dolgan Raiders scenario that appeared in the 1985 Autumn Citadel Journal - wagons pulled by lobotomised slave Ogres. I do have a Dwarf baggage train to paint up hopefully for a game in March so I'll be sure to post it up on facebook and the blog.

    Interesting stuff on the Plague Cart - hadn't realised the rules had evolved over the years.

  2. Hi Thantsants! Those Hobs are wonderful and I like them even more now that I know that there´s a story behind the concept. Guess I´ll have to start looking for that scenario.

    I had´t noticed the rule change either. In my mind the original rules were still in effect. Perhaps I have never read the undead part of WFB: Armies that well.

  3. The mercenary contingent in Warhammer Armies is just for renegades from the great Hobgoblin Empire. Maybe if we had gotten a complete list for the Imperial Army of Hobgobla Khan it would still include the more elaborate army standard?

    Another article for all the different animal handlers and their beasts?

  4. Greeting LM! That´s a good idea. I suppose you have some good material on the animal handlers? I think I have a single wood elf handler and his three dogs painted. And a boar handler set waiting to be done.

  5. Just discovered your blog and I'm enjoying your articles. And thanks for the pic of the plague cart I did - it is a cool figure but difficult to paint. One of my lng term projects is a bretonnian war alter using the Essex minis religious wagon that I bought in January when I was in the U.K. Cool figure that suits the theme nicely

  6. Hi Nathan! I´m glad that you found your way here and became a follower too. I like your plague cart - the green hands give a nice contrast to the dark robes of the driver. Nice work!