Monday, March 26, 2012

Wish Upon a (twin-tailed) Comet

Love or hate the rumours, the new Empire release is imminent. Though the current army book is quite sound in terms of competence with the 8th edition ruleset, the perception of its major strengths lie in just a few units. The NZ comp scene reflects this in restrictions on war-machines, templates and dispel dice caps.

To fill time before the new army book comes out, my Imperial mind has indulged in a little thought exercise of what units I would like to see in an Empire army that exist in the background but not on the table. Any of the current special rules could be changing, so this is purely on what I think would add some nice diversity and extra choice to the army list.

1. A Big F#@$-You Cannon

Fairly self explanatory.

2. Landsknechts

I would love some elite infantry. Greatswords pack decent punch as an elite hammer unit, but plate-armour and shield-wearing knights on foot would be a great compliment elite anvil unit. Currently the mediocre state troops fill this roll, or the supposedly extremely rare steam tanks and arch-lectors.

3. Monstrous Cavalry

I would particularly like to see some fliers, but would be happy with anything new from the Imperial Zoo's in any of the City States.

Except pagasi. The Bretonni use them and the Empire deserves creatures with a little more attitude than than the sorts of things my little sister was into when she was five years old.

Bring on the demi-gryph!

Some flying cavalry would mean less reliance on heroes and artillery, and give us something that can cover a bit of ground.

4. War Wagon

Already rumoured not to be happening in the new army book, but I think this one fits in with the new generation 'howdah' miniatures in the most recent army books, as well as giving something back to the disenfranchised war-gaming veterans who have had to deal with so much change already.

The problems with using it are having to deal with six different weapon types and special rules, making it a bit cumbersome in practice. But it is one of the archetypal Empire units, and so has a place on my list.

5. Steam Tank Variations

There are only eight remaining steam tanks in the Empire, and they vary greatly in design. However, only one configuration is currently available in the rules and in the kits. I would like to see the variations re-appear, to add a bit more variety;

Alter Kamerad
Von Zeppel

Sigmar's Hammer
 6. More Priestly Orders

A great way to add more variety to Empire builds. Each different religion would grant different benefits to a unit, depending on the role you want that unit to fulfill. Adding animosity between the different religions in the same army would be realistic, given the history of strife between them.

These feature among the current rumours, so fingers crossed! (Vague Ranald reference there for ya...)

7. Witch Hunters
One of the most iconic images of the Empire and probably the whole Warhammer IP has got to be the witch hunter.

It would be great if there was a skirmish melee unit led by witch hunters. Empire doesn't currently have one of those. They could scout, infiltrate, appear out of nowhere to BURN THE HERETIC!

8. Pikemen

As a recent poster on this blog pointed out, pikes were very much a weapon of choice in the 16th century era that the Empire army is emulating. Give us pikes!

9. The Colossus of Nuln 

This has only been mentioned once or twice in the various source books, but there was one tale about the Colossus of Nuln - a giant walking iron automaton. Constructed at great expense, its existence was as short as it was spectacular - toppling over and crushing several regiments.

I want one.

10. Halflings...

... just kidding. I would rather contract a painful and debilitating disease than field halflings. Ironically, this is what would likely happen to the general who DID field halflings. Dirty things.


  1. Looks like a wishlist to ensure that there isn't a single area in Warhammer that the Empire doesn't have something that dominates. Sickened. SICKENED.

    You want too much sir, not a single weakness in sight... Although, you will be able to play Empirehammer without the other races troubling you I suppose. I suppose you want Flaggelants that do poison damage too! AT RANGE!

    I am setting aside funds so I can play Empirehammer too though, it's all good.

  2. Yes, that would be the point of the wish-list. Why would I wish for something which would make my army weaker? A wish-list is a 'dream-team'; an 'if-I-had-my-way'; a 'blank-cheque-shopping-trip'.

    It was not my intention to create a balanced army list. I would hope the Iron Colossus idea gave that away!

    The difference to what you suppose is that Flaggelants do NOT do poisoned damage at range. Everything on my wish-list has at one time or another been featured in the history of the Empire which I think would be cool to have a presence on the table, and that is also consistent with the character of my favourite army. Flagellant throwing star units do not fit that bill.

    Thank you for the critique nonetheless. I'm sure the new army book will have enough tools to do the job you need it to do! :)

  3. Dan of Daemoneees gone by and of ratty filth at present. Sir you army a horing you go and onto empire too, would thee steam tank it or flaggee it with a mighty cannon you boast. Surely thy lessons were learnt when 1000+ ratty furs thee painted and burnnt :)

    Great history Tim and thanks for the multi- steam tank tuteology which was coolio. Nice read all round and I grudge thee to a show me how good Empire have gotten at NiCon.

    1. Oh... oh no you DI'INT!

      I can't let a grudge go un-grudged, I cannot lie. This might also spur me to get around to the much-procrastinated touch-ups I've been meaning to do to the Nulners.

      Plus I might have some cool new toys!