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Fanatics lost their role?


Squigy_Boy
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I was readin the new fanatic wars roll as of the new Gloomspite gits release and I noticed a few things:

• They fight at the start of the combat phase before models are chosen to fight

• They can be released at the start of any charge phase your or your oppents wholly within 3 inches of their host unit and 3 from enemies

• They can only charge in your phase meaning can’t block charges as effectively because if the oppent rolls high enough it can still be in combat with the host unit despite the fanatics being there. 

Personally I preferred where they could counter charge into your opponents units

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I think they're way better than before. Being able to fight before anyone else means that the enemy still has to try and avoid engaging them, lest their unit get smashed to a pulp. Sure, if the unit has fly and rolls high on the charge, they could potentially bypass the fanatics, but then that just means the fanatics are still around to smash things later on. Any other unit is going to have a hard time avoiding a barrier of 5 32mm death tops.

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3 minutes ago, eciu said:

It's not really vialable to move around them if you include 3" radious around fanatics.....

There's no 3" radius that prevents charge moves. That would only stop normal moves :)

Regardless, the point that it is not as simple as just going around them is correct. 

Unrelated; they still maintain their role as charge blockers. The difference is that now you don't sacrifice them by doing so, and the method is more through force. "I deploy my fanatics in front of my line. Are you sure you still want to charge?"

Mawcrushas and units like it that do damage on the charge mess them up though.

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Yes, Fanatics lost there old role and gained a new one. You can now teleport a unit of 60 arrows 9 away. Drop 20 wounds on average into a target, let out 5 fanatics... hit a charge on a 6 (or 4 if you have cogs).  Let everything die... then regrow them at the shrine.

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2 hours ago, Squigy_Boy said:

If I were to charge a unit and they revealed the fanatics I would just go around them is my point

It would be quite hard to avoid them, if you needed a 7" charge for example but there is a line of loonsmashas 1" ahead of it parent unit from corner to corner your going to need a longer charge range, but then you will pull that unit in if you are within 3" so they will get to swing first. If you do somehow manage to avoid them fully, your going have such an awkward formation to attack with, i assume an L shape as the guys at the back wont have the movement to go up and around to avoid the screening loons.

But at 28pts per model, 140pts for 5 they are quite expensive, i dunno if i would take them in a unit of 40/60 gobbos.

Edited by Ekrund Oath Splitters
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I prefer this change as it puts fanatics more in line with what they traditionally were throughout Warhammer Fantasy.  They had various iterations of rules through that time, but the general theme was that they were extremely dangerous whirling balls of death.  They were like ultra-deadly endless spells (for a more AoS comparison).

The only way they ever used to prevent charges was when opponents chose not to come near your fanatics, or sometimes opponents could choose not to continue a charge when it forced the fanatics from a unit.  If the fanatics failed to roll high enough to hit the enemy then they could end up between the charging unit and the target and many iterations of the rules allowed the charger to choose to halt rather than having to hit the unit and take a ton of damage.

In AoS the fanatics ended up in this weird functional role where the mechanics allowed you to prevent an enemy charge entirely by releasing them and charging first which would then lock up the enemy and prevent their charge.  Obviously this is a potent thing to be able to do.  However, the way the combat system worked out meant that the fanatics usually would be punched in the face and killed before they could attack - which very much went against the fluff for the unit.  So they maintained the ability to mess with enemy battleplans, but in practice they lost their ability to be destructive wrecking balls.

To me this new mechanic takes them back to the space where they originally were.  Now they have an emphasis on being extremely destructive and dangerous, but they still mess with the enemy plans simply through the psychological threat of possibly being included in units of grots.  The always strikes before other combat every turn is a very good way to make it very dangerous to engage with them.

Edited by Skabnoze
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As someone who used to play Orcs&Goblins back in 5th-6th editions, I'm just amazed that deploying fanatics is now voluntary rather than mandatory. The number of times my plans were foiled because a single great eagle dropped in behind my night goblins (or between them and something valuable), automatically drawing out the fanatics...

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2 hours ago, Swooper said:

As someone who used to play Orcs&Goblins back in 5th-6th editions, I'm just amazed that deploying fanatics is now voluntary rather than mandatory. The number of times my plans were foiled because a single great eagle dropped in behind my night goblins (or between them and something valuable), automatically drawing out the fanatics...

Especially in the days when units that appeared suddenly (teleporting, flying high and then dropping down, etc) would cause the release to be in a random direction - which then resulted in many of the fanatics just crashing through your own battle lines.

Caused some entertaining shenanigans at times, but I can't say that I miss those rules.

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5 minutes ago, Skabnoze said:

but I can't say that I miss those rules.

Cracking open the old book....it amazes me they need 2 pages to explain fanatics!

And 2 entire pages to explain squigs herders! (I forgot squig riders and squig herds were one unit).

(also this topic is gonna get moved to Destruction in 3, 2, ....)

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37 minutes ago, kenshin620 said:

Cracking open the old book....it amazes me they need 2 pages to explain fanatics!

And 2 entire pages to explain squigs herders! (I forgot squig riders and squig herds were one unit).

(also this topic is gonna get moved to Destruction in 3, 2, ....)

Yup.  Fanatics had pretty much a full page of rules in just about every edition from 4th edition onward.  Squig Hoppers sometimes had close to that much and other times a fair bit less.  The hoppers unit varied in complexity across the different editions as they changed it quite a bit.

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One thing that has just occured to me, if your opponent gets 3" or even 4" away, there will not be room to deploy your Fanatics in between your unit and them (since you have to be 3" away).

You could deploy out to the edge but this will in no way prevent or deter your opponent from engaging with the original unit.

So in practice I think they are now a purely aggro unit in most circumstances.  

I did like the old Grot blocking, and will miss it, but as Skabnoze  says this is way more thematic.

To be honest it was a bit of a crutch in some cases.  They now have a new useful role, so hopefully you will still see them a lot, but now they will be grinding enemies to a paste!

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4 hours ago, PlasticCraic said:

One thing that has just occured to me, if your opponent gets 3" or even 4" away, there will not be room to deploy your Fanatics in between your unit and them (since you have to be 3" away).

To be fair it's actually quite rare to see a 3" charge.

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15 hours ago, andysonic1 said:

His point is that if you don't want to engage the fanatics at all you can't get within that 3 inches at the end of your charge move.

Was addressed right below the part you quoted ;) the literal point was irrelevant, as I understood and agreed with the principle he was conveying.

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13 hours ago, PlasticCraic said:

So in practice I think they are now a purely aggro unit in most circumstances.  

Yeah, this is pretty much a return to form as this is functionally pretty close to what they used to do.  The main difference is that you can now choose whether or not to release them while in every edition of Fantasy Battles you were forced to release them as soon as an enemy moved to within 8".

But, historically while being an aggro unit they did function to deter enemies from moving close.  It is pretty much a psychological thing, but when Fanatics were horribly destructive balls of death they seriously frightened people and allowed you to use grot units to bully your opponent through positioning.  Also, they still have the ability to hide in a unit and you do not have to tell your opponent which unit the fanatics are in.  This can also be a big deal in regards to the psychological game you can play with your opponent.

Now, it won't matter much if people are running a min amount of grot units as battleline (even if they are big units).  If you only have 1-3 units of grots (and some of them are sitting on backfield objectives) then it is pretty easy for your opponent to figure out where the fanatics are probably hidden.  But back in WFB if you were playing a full Night Goblin army then it was pretty common to take multiple units of goblins and run some of them simply as chaff & speed-bump units.  In this situation you would have a number of goblin units and it could be tough for the enemy to guess which ones would have fanatics.  They all could potentially have hidden fanatics or maybe just some of them.

It's not a tactic to build your army around, but it is something to keep in mind.  Given the really nasty combat profile of the updated Fanatics I expect that few people will really want their important stuff getting hit by these guys.  Even if they kill off the fanatics it is probably going to hurt them a lot in the process.  This will inevitably cause a certain level of freak-out among many opponents.

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I'm liking the new fanatics, the lose of charge blocking hurts but they gained alot from it.  More damage from rolling a double on the charge grants d3 mortal wounds and are cheaper than before plus it's very easy to deliver some into your opponents lines. Chuck 5 into 20 shootas, hand of mork them and 6 inch charge plus some goblins to be a speed bump. Pretty good overall.   

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Another thing to consider is that while we can’t pop them out when an enemy charges to interrupt the charge, we can use both types of fanatics pre-emptively on the table to block charge lanes.  Enemies will have to think twice against charging into an existing unit of fanatics because the fanatics are guaranteed to strike first.  There is generally very little incentive to do this.  

This means we can use them as area denial tools.  The spore splatta fanatics work quite well in this role since they cannot initially hide in a unit and we often want them close to units of grots for their buffs and close to other units for their line-of-sight shielding.  I expect people will come up with a number of board positioning tactical uses.

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9 hours ago, Skabnoze said:

Another thing to consider is that while we can’t pop them out when an enemy charges to interrupt the charge, we can use both types of fanatics pre-emptively on the table to block charge lanes.  Enemies will have to think twice against charging into an existing unit of fanatics because the fanatics are guaranteed to strike first.  There is generally very little incentive to do this.  

This means we can use them as area denial tools.  The spore splatta fanatics work quite well in this role since they cannot initially hide in a unit and we often want them close to units of grots for their buffs and close to other units for their line-of-sight shielding.  I expect people will come up with a number of board positioning tactical uses.

Also Sporesplattas are actually reasonably cheap at 12- for 5. So you could take a unit of 15 for 360 points then Hand of Gork them across the board. You now have a vicious area denial unit which also blocks line of sight!

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