For Skirmish play, you have have three heroes in your warband. One, your leader must be from your faction list but the other 2 can be from any faction in the same grand alliance.
There are 13 different warbands in the Order grand alliance and one of those has multiple different sub factions. There are 182 heroes that an Order Warband can use, so there are a lot of options.
Alright, let’s start by looking over some of the descriptive statistics. These are the distributions of the 182 fighters. As we can see from these two plots, the most common average damage is 5 with a rare few sitting in the 8 and 9 damage. The most common wounds are sitting at 20 but we do have a good number of low wound fighters around 10.
4 is the typical movement value but there are plenty of move 3 and move 5 fighters also. There’s a big jump until 10 which is where the mounted units begin
Weapon strength and fighter toughness both are typically 4, which is essentially a wash. Surprisingly, it’s significantly more likely to be 4 strength than anything else.
Next up we have a fancy scatterplot. Each fighter is a dot, cheaper to the left, expensive to the right.
It’s all versus a toughness 4 target, higher is more damage, lower is less damage. The ones you want to look for here are the jumps. That company captain at the bottom left is the cheapest fighter that does 4 damage on average. It’s not marked, but the next jump is the red dot Truestone Seneschal, again the cheapest fighter doing that much damage. As it always comes up, I’ve marked the move 3 fighters in red.
Lets ignore all the subtleties for the first top 5, these are the damage dealers for the order heroes, all doing over 9 damage. Our top 4 are all Stormcast with the top two from the new Thunderstrike chamber. These are actually a little bit of a surprise, only the Evocator Prime on Celestial Dracoline is over 300 points, the rest are actually quite affordable. Not without cost though, as the first three fighters are all move 3. That said, they are all beat sticks with tons of wounds, insane toughness and if they do manage to connect will crater the target.
The Evocator Prime is big damage and super fast making him a contender for the Hammer of Order. He doesn’t have the mounted runemark despite being on a Dracoline, as non-hero Evocators on Dracoline also don’t have the Runemark this would seem to suggest the Dracoline are big Gecko lizards and are happy climbing up walls where other mounts wouldn’t.
For the most part the abilities for the Stormcast aren’t particular exciting, but I do quite like the Sancrosanct double Cleanse the Realms of Taint which will give a bonus move or attack after killing a target. Due to their high damage the Evocators can probably use this regularly.
Last we have the Kurnoth Huntermaster with Greatsword. The damage is identical to the Evocator-Prime but costs 115 points less. It’s 25 points more expensive than the Retributor Prime in 3rd place but is move 4 rather than 3, which seems like a small difference but turns out to be massive when you get them on the table. At 32 wounds this is an early contender for the all star list. On top of that the Huntmaster brings some interesting ability from the Sylvaneth. Draw from the Spirit Song is a double letting remove damage equal to the ability, easier than the triple respite and you can do it while engaged in combat.
If we drop our move 3 fighters, we can see a few more options. So we still have the Evocator Prime and Kurnoth Huntmaster. We now also have a unmount Evocator Prime, another mounted one but with a Greatstave, and a Gorgai from the Daughters of Khaine.
Not much to say about the Evocator-Primes, the unmounted is slower but cheaper, the Grandstave gives you a range of 2 and saves 15 points with only a small drop in damage.
The Gorgai is somewhere between the unmounted and the mounted Evocators, at move 7 she’s very quick and she already has a range of two with her spear. The Daughters of Khaine have some interesting abilities for her, as a double you can increase her attacks and strength by 1, which will increase her average damage to 11.67. Now anyone can get 1 extra attack, but bringing the strength from 4 to 5 with her is also big. That double can only be used if an enemy nearby has been wounded, but the shouldn’t be too much of a problem. A successful kill will let her use her Triple Sacrifice to Khaine which will give nearby friendly fighters an extra attack which can be big.
Another way to look at damage is how much you can get per point, which is what I’ve done here. I’ve taken the average damage and divide by the points.
We still have he Annihilator Prime and Retributor Prime who are both super efficient damage wise. Interestingly, we’ve lost the one with the Grandhammer who was 20 points more, no doubt he’s still high in the list but interesting to see.
The three new fighters are the Truestone Sensechal from the Luminath Realmlosts, and the Arkanaut Adrmiral and the Endrinmater both from the Kharadon Overlords. All of these are back in the move 3 category which makes sense.
The Truestone Seneschal has low wounds by comparison in everyone else, but 16 is pretty good for 105 points. No abilities of interest, so he’s not bringing much to the table unfortunately.
The Admiral is looking pretty good for damage and also has a ranged ability, of course the damage on that ranged ability is significantly lower at 3.5 against T4. The Edrinmaster is 5 points cheaper but with less damage and no ranged attack. The general Kharadon Overlord abilities aren’t of much interest, the Edrinmaster does get a double that would increase his attacks and strength by 1. As the strength is already 5, these seems a little redundant.
Since we’re talking about it, it might be a good idea to have a quick look over wounds.
From a previous video we know that the wounds are in a linear band in relation to the amount of points you pay. So more expensive fighters have more wounds. We can already see the Kurnoth Huntmaster looking good from this plot.
We aren’t particularly interested in low damage high wound fighters. So in this case I’ve tried to get some fighters that rate high on both the damage per points and the wounds per points scales. This is a bit of an art as it involves a lot of trades back and forth.
Again we have a bunch of dwarfs. No real surprise, they move slow but have good damage and wound to make up for it. The Company Captain is our number one and is notable as the cheapest Order hero available at 90 points. For this you’re getting decent damage and wounds along with a ranged option. Nothing flashy, but efficient and solid.
We also have 3 fireslayers. Although slow, as a double these Fyreslayers can increase their next move by 3 which will help them get where they need to be. They all have different special abilities, but none of them really impress me.
In third place we have a Runelord from the Cities of Sigmar, this opens up lots of abilities which we’ll get into later. For the Runelord in particular, the Priest runemark opens up the Double Forgefire which will increase the melee strength of a target by half the ability value. It’s a pretty niche ability but might combo well with some low strength high attack fighter.
Taking out the move 3 fighters we start seeing some familiar faces again. The Kurnoth Huntmaster is back once again showing it’s value.
The ability unique to the Lord-Ordinator is Double Meteoric Slam which will increase attacks and strength by 1. Already at strength 5 this usually own’t be better than just using Onslaught, but could be useful killing some heroes. As he’s Sancrosanct Chamber he also has access to the Double Cleanse the Realm of Taint for an extra move or attack after taking down an enemy.
The Scinari Loreseeker is a little out of place with all these Stormcast, relatively cheap but fast at 5 movement and with decent wounds at 18. Damage is a little underwhelming but still solid for the points. Interestingly this damage profile is the Ranged profile, as it’s actually better than the melee one. At 7 range that changes things a good bit for this fighter. The unique ability for this fighter is the Double Lone Agent which will give a bonus action as long as there are no friendlies within 6 inches, which should be doable.
The Knight-Questor is of the Warrior Chamber giving him access to the double Furious Avengers letting him make a bonus move if there is an injured friendly nearby. His Bulwark runemark gives him a Double Shield Bash which after a move on a 3+ does the abilities value in damage to a nearby target. The same runemark of the Sequitor instead gives him a super defensive Triple that turns all Crits against the fighter into hits instead.
Okay, so we’ve looked at a range of fighters so far. One thing that was very popular in the old edition of Warcy was the Hammer, a fighter that you could just apply to any problem on the board and it would quickly solve it. The best kind were the big scary fliers, so we’re going to have a quick look at the flying options for Order to see what there is.
The big dog in this category is the Akhelian King. He’s doing top tier damage with fly and move 10. He also has some interesting abilities, a double that will super charge his damage by adding additional dice and a triple for turn 3 that will add 1 to attacks and strength of friendly fighters.
If you’re looking on pure efficiency, the Khadron Overlords have you covered with the Mizzenmaster and slightly cheaper Custodian. These both are move 10 fly with great damage and a bonus range attack option. A a meta choice, they also have a double that makes them remarkable effective at taking down other fliers.
There are lots of options below that. The Stormcast have Prosecutors, the Lizardmen flying creatures, the elves have Harridynn and so on.
The cheapest flier hero is the Flitwing Scion which has a pretty poor damage profile, the ranged attack in this case is better than the melee version. As a double, they can up the strength of their ranged attacks, but that’s not much help with 1/4 profile.
The next up are the Terradon riders that are decent with 4 damage but already are getting into 200 point territory, so you are playing a premium for fly.
Moving into the fast fighters without fly, these are all sorted by damage per points. We’ve already seen the Bladelord Seneschal and Slaughter Queen. We also get a new Bladelord profile that has range of 2 which is nice.
The High Gladiatrix is brand new, and is quite interesting. Weirdly she has the trapper runemark which doesn’t appear on the Daughters of Khaine list, so presumably a typo and wasted ability. She does cost significantly more than the Slaughter Queen and doesn’t get a great amount out of it, 35 points gets her ranged 2, 2 wounds, and 1 extra damage.
Last up we have the Wildwood Warden from the Cities of Sigmar. His destroyer runemark typically gives him the double Pulverising Strike which will increase his crit damage. It also gives him [Triple] Martial Exemplar, which will add an extra dice to friendly fighter attacks but can only be used if the Warden takes down a fighter. At 12 he feels a little vulnerable, but he is only 140 points.
Move 10 has some familiar faces with the Mizzenmaster and the Evocator Prime on Dracoline. Although they aren’t the 3 elves joining them are all mounted. This is something to be careful of as mounted characters cannot climb on scenery which can be a problem. All of these mounted elves have a similar ability, a triple which will assign damage equal to the ability dice after they move.
We also should look at ranged attacks as their own category as the data treats them as if they are unique fighters. While they typically are doing less damage than the flying hammers, they serve a similar roll and if they can see the target, then they can take two attack actions rather than a move or attack which can significantly increase their damage.
Looking at fighters with max range of 6 or more, we start with the Slam Starmaster who is expensive at 265 points, but can take two actions to do an average of 12 damage to anyone within 12 inches. That’s pretty insane. The Seraphon heroes all have access to a double that gives them an extra attack of move after they kill someone. The mystic runemark does give it a pretty awesome teleport ability but it can only be used on another Seraphon model, that said, if you had two of those hovering over the battlefield they could each teleport the other one!
Next up we. Have the Judicator-Prime with Skybolt Bow. The range is up to an insane 20. Not many abilities of interest from the Warrior Chamber beyond that double for a bonus move when a nearby friendly is injured.
Next we have two Khadrons. The Aether Chemist is remarkably cheap compared to the rest of these fighters and still is doing good damage, although only to range 6. The Aether Chemist does have an interest Triple Atmospheric Isolation which reduces the attack dice of all nearby enemy fighters by 1. The Endrinmaster is doing similar numbers but pushes the range to 12 and has move 10 with fly.
Last up we have the Castigator Prime. Range 15 and 5 damage on average is fantastic. He should be picking off a chaff unit every turn. As Sacrosanct Chamber he gets that awesome double for an extra attack or move after killing a fighter. The destroyer runemark also gives access to the Triple Burst of Celestial Lightning which adds the half the value of the ability dice onto the damage and crit damage of the next ranged attack. It’s expensive as a triple an adding 2 will increase the average damage from 5 to 9. A nice option to have but maybe not super effective.
If we instead look at damage efficency per point we lose the Slann and the Stormcast and instead end up with a bunch of Lumineth.
We’ve actually seen the Loreseeker before in the Damage + Wounds + M4 or better list. So it’s an all-round efficient fighter.
The Calligrave is very similar, 5 points cheaper and the melee attack is weaker. This fighter has an interesting double ability called Realmscribe which reduces enemy crits by 1, it’s an aoe effect of 6 inches and the Calligrave can pick 9 inches from them to do the effect. I always find these area boost or penalties quite interesting, this one probably will have minimal impact unfortunately but it is a double and if there was a real mess of a melee those numbers could add up.
The Enlightener has no extra rune marks but has a nice range 12 to make up for it.
Okay, we’ve crunched the had a look at some of the fighters that came to the top, when we did one of the first things to talk about was the abilities. We can also take the reverse approach, and look at the good abilities first and see what fighters fit the bill.
This is something you can see in action if you check out the TheSaltySeas Youtube Channel and in particular the video on some of the Tournament results. In there, you can see tournament winning lists with some really weird inclusions. Often they are cheap characters that don’t seem to make sense, but once you dig into it, as Salty does, you realise they are there to give access to abilities.
The big one, is the Cities of Sigmar and specifically the Tempest Eye warband which have two movement related abilities. The first is a Triple Swift as the Wind which increases the movement of nearby friendlies by the ability dice. So including this High Sister in your Dagger will let you boost the movement of all your Dagger fighters turn one, getting them into position faster. If you think about the number of times you use the Double rush turn one, you’ll appreciate how good this ability is.
As far as I’m aware, as the ability doesn’t say other fighters, it will boost the move of the High Sister but you’ll need to be careful when moving her. You don’t want to zoom off and abandon the other fighters, so she needs to be within 6 inches of them. I suspect this is why the High Sister with her range 15 attack was selected, letting her move 6 and shoot, then her allies can move up to her and then past her with the second move, getting the full boosted movement each time.
This will signifincaly increase the value of the 3 move fighters, Alvaro played the High Sister in Oslo with Stormcast Annihilators, those super high damage characters we discounted earlier because they were only 3 move.
There is also a fun Quad, Outmaneuver the Foe which gives a number of nearby fighters up to the value of the ability a bonus move. As a quad it’ll be pretty situational but could end up being a bunch of extra actions.
The high Sisters Agile trait also gives access to a Triple that boosts range attack dice, it’s a nice option, but I suspect you’re more likely to be spending those triples on swift as the Wind.
Both the movement abilities just require a leader from the Tempest Eye faction, and because Cities of Sigmar have so many fighters this gives a ton of options.
Here we have the Wildwood Warden who came up before as pretty efficient. We also have the Shadow Walker who is slightly cheaper that the High Sister but Str 3 rather than 4 making his damage a little less reliable. Also appearing is a personal favourite the Assassin who is a high murder monster.
I mentioned before, the ranged 15 of the High Sister was probably the reason for her selection, you could go half the range for either the Sorceress or Battlemage to open up the Quad Summon Eagle Strike which is a fun direct damage effect.
Alternatively, you can for the cheap options, here we have the 5 cheapest Cities of Sigmar fighters. Note that the old guard is pretty chunky but has 3 move, do we really care about 3 move when we’re planning to boost it anyway? Out of these cheap options I think that would be my preference.
The other ability of interest mentioned in that SaltySea video was the Slyvaneth Walk the Spirit Path. This is a triple that removes the fighter from the battlefield and lets them set up anywhere further than 5 inches from an enemy.
There are two fighters who have access to this ability, basically you’re picking between Blade or Glaive. The Glaive is 5 more with Range 2, but the blade is better damage. Since they have move 4 you will always be able to get into melee with a single move after using the Walk the Spirit Paths ability (EDIT – Only the Glaive though), with 4 average damage for the Blade you’re probably not killing anything though. You’re probably going to be using the ability more for mission objectives, like controlling a zone or picking up treasure.
Next up we have this super cheap Lumineth hero High Sentinel. With this Triple you get to pick a target and after that every fighter gets an extra dice when attacking them. It’s not a particularly flashy fighter, but the damage is decent for the points cost and the ability could be especially effect in a warband that leans heavily on ranged attacks.
Edit – In theory, if you managed to get two Triples you could use a wait action to use this, then use it again giving everyone +2 dice against the target.
This is the Triple Bloodwrack Stare from the Daughters of Khaine, and this is the first in a series of Net like abilities most infamous from the Goblin Netters. Most effects like this work on a 3+ but this lets you roll two dice so it’ll work 75% of the time. In addition, rolling a 6 will do some damage which is a nice bonus
There is only one option for this ability which is the costly Bloodrack Medusa. Luckily, she’s murder doing on average 7 damage per attack, with 35 wounds, and move 7. With her range 2 spear attack, she can move beside a target, attack them and if they survive use the Triple to lock them down. If she does kill them she can instead use Sacrifice to Khaine boosting the attacks of friendly fighters within 6 inches. Win win.
Next up from the Idoneth Deepkin we have Hangman’s Knot. Again there’s only one fighter, the Isharan Soulrender with a pretty good damage profile.
So similar to the Medusa, but about one hundred points less and the ability is a double instead of a triple.
tty effective ranged fighter. The ability is a double and has a bonkers 20” range with no roll needing to be made, but it only prevents disengage and not movement. So if you want to lock down a killer unit, you have to send in a sacrificial fighter to take the blows. Still, the damage profile is good and that’s for the ranged attack up to 15 inches. At 165 this fighter has a lot going for it before you even get to the very cool ability.
That was a lot to go through. I’ve no doubt that I missed some ability or some great fighter, and if you can think of any please drop them in the comments. I don’t think there really is a perfect hero for all warbands, instead each hero offers a role it can fill and maybe your warband had a hole that shape.
There were a few models that really stood out for me though.
The Kurnoth Huntmaster is just a great allrounder and with a double to heal it can stay in the fight a long time. I also quite liked the unmounted Evocator with Tempest Blade and Stormstave. Damage and survivability is similar and each kill can trigger that double for an extra action which is amazing.
For my problem solvers, I’m looking at the Evocator on Dracoline and the Mizzenmaster. Speed 10 and no mount trait for the Dracoline is almost as good as fly and the damage and survivability is great. The Mizzenmaster meanwhile has actual fly and a great point to damage efficiency.
I also quite like the Bloodwrack Medusa as a Hammer, she’s not as fast and doesn’t have fly, but she has fantastic damage to kill one target and could lock down a second target with her ability at the same time.
For game changers, the Tree Revenant being able to teleport for a triple can be insane in some missions, especially ones involving treasure.
The High Sister, or indeed any of the City of Sigmar heroes can be transformative for a warband. The movement increase is crazy and directly translates into action economy. It also flips the switch on move 3 warbands making them more than just viable.
I also quite like the Shadestalker and the Gunnery Sergeant, both of which are doing great damage as well as having a useful ability.
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