Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Slaughter Master Armor Dilemma: What is an Iron Fist?

Old School here to talk a little Warhammer Fantasy with you. Tonight I want to crack open the debate on the Slaughter Master and the big issue that is sweeping the forums and to a lesser extent, the blogosphere (get with it bloggers, Fantasy is the shiz)! Let's take a look at both sides of the fence and then I will offer my lowly opinion ...
... alright, so the first side of the isle notices that the butcher can take an iron fist which in many ways acts as a shield for the purposes of adding +1 to your armor and because the rules say you can take magic armor if you can take a mundane shield, then you clearly must be able to take ... uh, I dunno glittering scales or the armor of destiny. These folks claim that because the iron fist gives out the armor boost, that it must be armor and therefore able to endow the slaughtermaster with magic armor. Now this candy shell is very tempting as it makes a slaughter master nigh invulnerable in certain builds. Just imagine a slaughter master (T6 BTW before buffs), running around with WS10 (fencing blades) and -1 to hit him (glittering scales), plus the +1 wound back from gut magic and suddenly you have a real monster on your hands. If you want to kill him, you have to make it happen all in one phase!

Now, the other side of the fence argues that the slaughter master may not take armor and before you cry out, look to the reason why. Sure there is a small group that thinks he shouldn't have armor because he couldn't in the old book, but they are a small group. The real nay sayers point out something more intrisick to the nature of the game ... and that is the question of whether or not the Iron Fist counts as a mundane shield. What is a mundane shield is the real question then? Well, a mundane shield is just that Mundane ... look the word up ... I'll wait, lol. The average mundane shield in the game has certain effects (namely the +1 to armor and the 6+ parry in certain situations). The problem is that the iron fist is mundane to this second group. They believe that since the iron fist gives the ability to parry while mounted, then the fist obviously isn't a mundane shield, thus rendering the ability to take magic armor impossible. What is their ideal Slaughter master lay out? There are a few, but it typically involves a pair of fencing blades and either the hell heart or a 4+ ward pendant.

My opinion? Well, I haven't been playing Fantasy that long and though my experience is limited, I think the slaughter master and this issue can be solved by looking at what the other lord choices can take. Basically, without too much thought, I am asking the question: Why take a Tyrant (EVER) if you can give a slaughter master armor? I mean really? For what a LD boost? I don't buy it. A CC monster? Our whole army is a CC monster! Again, I don't buy it! I just feel like it would be a big mistake to make the tyrant into such a wasted Lord slot in the book and knowing GW the way I have for so long, I am sure they feel the same way. After all, don' they want to sell that Finecast Tyrant to you for about $38 or so? Don't they? I think they do, but in the meantime, I will play like the SM can't take the armor and secretly pray (and do naughty things in my closet) thinking of them releasing a FAQ saying the SM can have armor!

Much like the photo, my opinion is that it is just too sexy and I think bare naked will prevail! Now that I have laid it out to you Fantasy players, what do you think? Am I smoking ass hair along with all the nay sayers, or am I right in your eyes? How do you run the slaughter master?


  1. Shields are a type of armor. (Magical shields are all listed in the "magic armor" section.) Being allowed to take a shield lets you take magical armor, them's the rules. It's not overpowering in any real way because points you sink into that aren't making him any better of a spellcaster (for stuff like Hellheart, Dispel Scrolls, etc.)

    Tyrants are the only way to get Ld9, and with Ogres having pretty middling Ld numbers overall, that can be important. More important than a Slaughtermaster? Maybe not, but honestly wizards are so important that the magic armor really has no effect on that particular decision.

    I'm not a big fan of putting armor on the SM, all things considered, but as far as I can tell it's legal.

  2. IMO, it should be legal until the FAQ is released. The Iron Fist is armor, allowing him to take armor. They have been good about releasing new FAQ's fairly quickly so we should now somewhat soon.

  3. AP, I get what you are saying, but I really don't think the Iron Fist qualifies as a mundane shield is really all I am saying, particularly because it doesn't follow all the shield rules. I will say though that I hope the FAQ allows us to take him armored and that I will be the first person out the gates with a slaughtermaster decked out in armor like Danny McBride in Your Highness!

  4. If it isn't a shield... what is it? It's a shield that also has a special exception (even mounter characters can benefit from the Parry save.)

    Also I totally missed out on my opportunity to start my last post with "...A miserable pile of secrets!"

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  6. I personally feel that the word "Mundane" should be all people need to read to realize that a shield with basically anything other than the normal rules for a shield quickly makes the shield no longer "Mundane". The Ironfist ceases to be "Mundane" the minute it has exceptions or special rules associated with it. Im sure the wording can be argued all day so lets take a look at the design of the army for some more clues. While OST was here we tested the Ogre Book pretty thoroughly. I could honestly say that allowing SM to take armor would quickly push the Tyrant out as a solid choice for competition. Abuse Puppy your point about LD is a good one however it would only push the LD up by one. I dont see this as being that huge of a deal as Ogres either win combat by a mile even against elite troops like chaos warriors grave guard Etc or get multi charged and owned to the point that they would need double ones anyhow. I dont see much middleground with this army. So what is the bonus LD really being used for well not fear since ogres cause fear so they wont be checking for that. hmmmm Rally well your going to test on 9 if you have a musician and once again if the ogres are running you might already be screwed. I know theres magic that drops LD but once again alot of spells drop it pretty harshly at least 3 so 1 more or less is not going to mean much. The only thing i see is for panic checks from mass arty fire which can be hard for ogres to deal with since cannons and the like do d6 wounds and in this case the thing protecting you from any shooting your actually scared of will be the regen bubble off of gut magic which can be clutch if the opponent is not shooting you with mass flaming attacks. That being said the SM will keep you possibly safer from these things while making your army even more ridiculous in combat while being a super almost impossible to kill outside of nasty magic character if hes able to take armor. This does not mean i would never see a tyrant however unless your approaching a 3k point game and especially under 2k the nasty combo on the SM is a no brainer. Hell if your worried about items and casting power for your army take 2 SMs and make the tough one the general and the caster one can do whatever he wants really. Not to mention fire bellies are pretty solid and they make great scroll caddies as well as making weak hordes wet there pants. I really feel that at least from a competetive point of view if the SM can take armor it will force tyrants to a only fluffy choice in high value games after you have taken your boss mode slaughter master, BSB and even some fire bellies. Im not sure that is what GW would have intended but hey if its FAQed and they can wear armor that means people dont really have to buy that 40 dollar finecast model now do they. :)