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Why a lack of characters? 
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Slave on the Altar

Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:33 pm
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Hello all! Just found this place, and i gotta say before i get started i love it. Im somewhat new to warhammer, got into a few years ago but never really put together an army, and now im trying to get started up again.

So I have noticed something in the past few days while browsing through all sorts of tactics and strategies for all sorts of different army lists, and i have noticed that almost no once ever uses any of the characters (ex Malekith, Morathi, Malus ect) why is that? I personally never field a battle without Malus leading a unit of COK, and putting Lokhir at the head of a good sized unit of Corsairs can eat through almost anything that doesnt have a huge AS.

So what am i missing?


Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:45 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

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most of the lists you're seeing are probably "all-comers" tournament lists, and most tournaments ban the use of special characters.

Some of them still have their uses in friendly games, but for the most part, they will either be banned outright, or comped out of most tournaments.


Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:48 pm
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Characters are more at risk than previously.
In 7th ed, you could hope to wipe out a full rank of foes and risk only retaliation from surviving opposing characters. Nowadays, you could kill the whole front rank, there are more of them stepping in, and even 2nd rank can fight. Worse, buffs and debuffs can make some R&F much more deadly than they used to. Consider also the many sniping spells now available.

As a result, characters should be taken with careful thought, and most often to fulfill a specific role (BSB, unkillable lord) or to buff some other units (sorc, COB).
Most named characters don't have such role most of the time.


However, there are some lists that have used named characters with success:
Sometimes you could see in battle Morathi and her impressive magic mastery, especially with the dagger - fatal beauty!
Hellebron had some success along with an insane flood of WE, that the opponent has trouble to figure how to deal with.

Other named characters are still remotely active.
Lokhir seems to have been tried quite often, but not with the success he deserves. One of his drawback is to be suited against the same opponents as corsairs, so themed corsair armies with him are unbalanced.
Malekith seems to show up only in very large games.
Malus sometimes gets a ride.
Shadowblade's fee is too high for what people are ready to afford.
Kouran is hardly ever seen, but sometimes shows up.


Only Tullaris seems to have retired.

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:51 pm
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In addition most characters in our book are not that useful. Malus ist OK, afaik, but Malekith…

Edit: Never mind, Calisson was faster. ^^


Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:01 pm
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I love Malus to death but in this edition he removes stupidity from the COK. Back then that was good but in 8th edition, not being stupid means we lose our Immune to Psychology. I'd rather test for stupidity with a bsb and general near rather than test for panic checks, terror checks and magical spell effects.

Malekith is not bad actually but expensive.

Morathi suffers the same syndrome.

Lokhir is quite good but his point costs hurts too much.

Our typical POK Dreadlord deals more damage than Malus and is more resilient at roughly the same price minus the consequences of using his blade.

Most tourneys don't allow SC.

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:20 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Bloodsinger's point is dead accurate for me; I don't use special characters because most environments and events where I play Warhammer doesn't allow them.

In friendly games though, I would consider using Malekith for the fluff and challenge of it. I think he's actually a pretty decent purchase if you're going for larger games, as has been mentioned. Given that a large block of Cold One Knights has risen as one of our very best 8th edition combat units, and since they frequently use the Banner of Hag Graef as well as the Cauldron of Blood, you can toss Malekith into that unit and he brings them a number of benefits:

-A character with a good armor save (provided he's on a Cold One) and great ward save against most opponents in the game, giving you a very durable character.

-A solid casting character who can throw a few dice at Dark Magic spells, casting them effectively without worrying about blowing himself up in the process.

-A character with more survivability versus sniper and characteristic-based spells than the average elf, and can also counter-zap enemy wizards if they target him or his unit with certain spell types.

-The ability to destroy dangerous magic weapons on enemy characters, which is always a plus if you're willing to risk Malekith being hit by them.

-A few more attacks at pretty high strength to give your Cold ones some more hitting power after their lance bonus is expended.

I may have to give some thought to a nice Malekith conversion now!

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:41 pm
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No one has mentioned it (so I will) that the special named characters in many/most places are looked down upon. Often they are not costed properly or have weird special rules that people aren't familliar with. And then there's those that just break the game outright. There should be a big sign by the special charcter section labeled "Warning! Use at your own risk!!"

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Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:30 am
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On top of the above, our Special Characters are severely overpriced.

You can build much more effective characters with your regular heroes/lords.

If you go for Druchii Special Characters you do it for flavor (like Malus leading knights, or Lokhir leading his raiding party)

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Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:53 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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im in the same boat as phier

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Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:09 am
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Quote:
On top of the above, our Special Characters are severely overpriced.


Logistically it's also quite a challenge for the more expensive lords:

Malekith can't be fielded in an army of less than roughly 2,400, Morathi can't be in in one of less than approx 1,900 and Hellebron in one of less than roughly 1,400.

Personally:

- Morathi is too much of a mixed bag for me: very strong magic is great, but it costs you a lot more than a fully pumped up level 4 supreme sorceress, puts her on a pegasus (which I don't really want) and gives you the combat stats of a master - not good enough to be worth risking in combat, but a shame to waste by keeping her shielded as you would a normal mage. I'd rather take a combat hero and a supreme sorceress than try to combine the two in this awkward fit. Also, she's confined to dark magic, and most folk now prefer other lores (shadow, death, metal, etc).

- Hellebron is great and a lot of fun. She's even more vulnerable than she was in 7th ed though, as even putting her in a unit of ASF witches or execs won't save her from being pincushioned by another ASF melee opponent (e.g. high elves, any opposing unit given ASF by a spell or an enemy character with an ASF item), and increased number of strike backs means that she can no longer simply wipe up the front rank of a unit and be safe. That said, her ability to do mass damage with her 7-9 WS7, S10 hatred attacks is still incredible (and very useful against the growing number of big monsters out there - TK T8 sphinxes for breakfast anyone?). Her ability to make WEs core is also awesome, as WEs are now so much better in this edition.

- Lokhir has gained and lost in 8th ed. His red blades are now even more brutal (that horde of 100 goblins in ranks of 10x10 is going to feel a lot of pain when he hits them with 11 WS6 hatred, S4 re-rolling wounds attacks). However his regen is now less study (with the new flaming attack vulnerability), as is his ability to cause terror (and with the new scenarios etc, his slavers special rule add on is now less useful. Sadly, he remains overpriced for what he does.

- Malekith is hard to field due to his large price: You're very unlikely to see him on his dragon (as that would need a game of nearly 4k) or even his chariot (as that needs a game of 3k). Putting him on foot seems a bit demeaning somehow. Again, his abilities are now less useful (e.g. the boosted BSB rules make absolute power less exciting) and his vulnerability to magic attacks (oh no, not biting blade!) remains.

- Shadowblade is more vulnerable than ever now (facing a minimum of 6 allocated attacks from an enemy rank and file unit is far worse than the previous minimum 3), and the new rules on stubborn make it very hard for him to cheekily kill his opponent in a challenge and then run the rest of the unit down via combat res (I remember doing that to a unit of 15 warriors and Vilitch in 7th ed, much to my opponent's chagrin). But more to the point, he still costs a lot! and is a massive gamble - even in his ideal setting a couple of errant 1s at just the wrong moment and he's screwed. And finally, he - most of all our special characters I think - is heavily frowned upon. It is seen, in my gaming group at least, as a bit off to pop up the master assassin next to their most expensive/vulnerable character in turn 2 and say effectively "let's flip a coin: whoever wins is going to have a massive advantage for the rest of the game, and whoever loses is going to have a massive disadvantage".

- Kouran used to be used occasionally really because unbreakable on BG made them an insanely nice roadblock. But again, the boosting of the BSB means that you can now achieve this basic effect without him (stick a BSB near the unit and they are re-rolling stubborn on a 9 - it's much harder to fail that than a single roll, as was more common in 7th).

- Tullaris is now next to useless. His sole point (for me anyway) in 7th was his ability to give executioner's fear (and thus make them less vulnerable to fear and terror causing enemies). With fear now a lot less scary (thanks to the removal of the cursed auto break against a larger fear causing unit who beats you in combat res rule), his purpose is now even less limited. At nearly 100 points, he is just a no go in anything other than specifically themed armies.

- Malus had the big selling point in 7th ed of making Cold Ones not stupid. But given than stupidity is now much less of a worry in 8th ed (give the unit the standard of discipline for ld10 and/or stick them near the BSB for a re-roll) and actually has some bonuses (immune to psychology is awesome), he is now much less appealing. He costs a lot for what he is and when you consider that you could buy 10 cold one knights for the same cost as a single Malus, well, he's too overpriced to be worth it.

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Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:24 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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Dude. Red... that is an AWESOME analysis! I still play Malus Kouran Lokhir and Morathi because of stable results, but you summed up the points side EXCELLENTLY!!

I think the point where we have (at least in vanilla Tourneys around here) the psychological aspect of it: we have one of the most hated armies with some of the most hated characters in the game.

Named Characters (for the whole...3 years I've ever played) were in turn the BEST and then in turn the WORST(when I returned w/ 7th) things you could play with. For us, it's moreso because of the 'Heavy Frowning Upon'.

I personally have never understood it; Maybe they're considered bad form, or the sign of a WAAC'er (win at all cost player for intro people) to bring a name to anything less than a Grand Tourney?

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Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:34 pm
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If I had to face a Druchii Special Character I'd thank my opponent for making it easier for me... really.

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Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:08 pm
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Dalamar wrote:
If I had to face a Druchii Special Character I'd thank my opponent for making it easier for me... really.

I agree with this for the most part of our special characters. The only one that is still quite good is Lokhir, not because of his ability to fight, but 8th ed has brought along really big units that cost lots of points, but are not tooled to be death stars. So running these units down and gaining double victory points is really sweet !
Cheers,
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Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:41 pm
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I was considering that guy... I decided I'm better off with a Dreadlord with actual defenses over a guy in heavy armor and SCD hoping for regen to kick in. 4+/4+ doesn't cut it even against S3 attacks anymore with the amount of those attacks coming back.

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Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:00 am
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Dalamar wrote:
I was considering that guy... I decided I'm better off with a Dreadlord with actual defenses over a guy in heavy armor and SCD hoping for regen to kick in. 4+/4+ doesn't cut it even against S3 attacks anymore with the amount of those attacks coming back.

That is a really good point. His rules on paper make him look decent, but you are correct since it does not matter much if he is never able to survive. I guess Lokhir is going to be considered as one of the better DRUCHII special characters, but he is definatly no match for the usefullness of the unkillable dread lord.
Cheers,
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Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:20 am
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Aveleys wrote:
Dalamar wrote:
I was considering that guy... I decided I'm better off with a Dreadlord with actual defenses over a guy in heavy armor and SCD hoping for regen to kick in. 4+/4+ doesn't cut it even against S3 attacks anymore with the amount of those attacks coming back.

That is a really good point. His rules on paper make him look decent, but you are correct since it does not matter much if he is never able to survive. I guess Lokhir is going to be considered as one of the better DRUCHII special characters, but he is definatly no match for the usefullness of the unkillable dread lord.
Cheers,
-Ave


Even then, Lohkir is predomently good for horde armies as you are hoping he will be going up against rank and file troops that come in mass as he gets more attackes based on the number of enemy ranks he's fighting. His terror rule ensures he can go up against undead without needing to fear them, and his other specal rules when added to a unit of corsairs really bring on the hurt.

Against a self respecting Vampire Lord or Lord of Chaos, he is going to be a blood stain by the time they are through with him.

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Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:51 am
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Herophantom wrote:
So I have noticed something in the past few days while browsing through all sorts of tactics and strategies for all sorts of different army lists, and i have noticed that almost no once ever uses any of the characters (ex Malekith, Morathi, Malus ect) why is that? [snip]
So what am i missing?


Cost.

For the points spent on those characters, you may have paid for one or more units. And when units are so good...

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Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:42 am
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I've never seen such a brutal bashing of our special characters. I personally own Morathi, Lokhir, Shadowblade, and a converted Malekith, and I USE them. Granted, my opponents are far from tournament play most of the time, even though I'm not.

I just use the special characters for the pure fun behind it. I've used Malekith before against Lizardmen and wiped out most of a unit of Temple Guard that contained Chakax and a Slann.

Morathi is a great choice if you want to field a lot of magic (and with Storm of Magic coming, who wouldn't?). She takes all of Dark Magic so any other Sorceress can take any other lore and you won't miss your favourite Dark Magic spell.

If I know I'm facing Dwarfs, I take Shadowblade. On the face of it, that seems ridiculous for the no-armour elf to take on the chunks of moving armour. But he can hide in war machine crew, take out the Dwarf war machines and the Dwarfs are that much easier to beat.

Everybody has defended Lokhir enough, but just picture this. 40 Corsairs plus Lokhir carving through another lightly armoured army. It's great to see your opponent look at all those dice being rolled, especially if you have the Sea Serpent Standard with the Corsairs.

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Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:38 pm
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ok. I think it's offtopic a bit tho. This isn't just about our army, or how vanilla it makes things, or anything.

It goes to cost, and lack of updating (eg: if they change the rules for Stupidity, they should have thought ahead for what that MEANS for Malus or something), and comp. Heck. give Morathi Loremistress as far as i'm concerned!

See, I recall a thread on WarSeer that raised a point: What if you saw a bunkered Tethlis (Teclis? Whichever, you get my point) with the World Dragon BSB, and a Master that balanced it out. You'd call cheese while desperately trying to do ANYTHING to the unit in time.

I think a balance needs to be found- make them more like 40k leaders may be a more viable route. As they stand now, tourneys will always exclude them (because, as noted on the WS forum, Throgg makes an army too good).

People just don't want to have to think of ways around them as opponents, and they cost too much to be effective unless they kill as many points as they require.

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Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:28 pm
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Actually L1qw1D, we are on topic. Herophantom's original question was why none of our special characters are ever used. I hate to sound like a jerk by putting it so bluntly, but that's the question I heard.

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Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:46 am
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I concur. However, this isn't a 'only DA can't have named chars'. It happens in every tourney (which...if you think about it is kinda backwards. Friendly games are often smaller, and yet THAT is where, with permission we can use them- and Tourneys, where we need to have special things and lords and ladies ARE likely to take notice and join in aren't.)

I was just saying that there are a lot of facets to note, and that it doesn't end w JUST DE.

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Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:38 am
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I suppose I should concur too then. And you have a point, a lot of "out of tournament" games are no larger than 2k. Malekith and Morathi always get screwed over, in our case anyway

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Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:22 pm
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Simply put, we don't have really strong characters compared to other races then coupled to the fact that even our special characters are just as frail makes taking them less attractive.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:29 am
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More over ours are pricier. There is a 200 point difference, more or less, between Tyrion and Malekith on foot, for example.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:15 am
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Well, save for the possessed Malus, Malektih is the only elf in both Dark Elves and High Elves that has a higher toughness.

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Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:50 am
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