“The armies of the world gather anew for war. The promise of victory hangs heavy in the air. Prophets gnash and wail, tearing at their hair and preaching visions of doom to any who will listen […] Merciless generals make devious battle plans, commanders inspire their forces, and warmongering kings bellow fiery rhetoric that heats the blood of men.”
The Hammer and Hold expansion for Warhammer: Diskwars bolsters the forces of Order with fifty new disks and introduces three new races to the game: the Dwarfs, the Lizardmen, and the Wood Elves. In our last preview of this hard-hitting expansion, we examined many of its new Dwarf heroes and units, and we explored how they might function together within an army.
Today, however, we look at the new heroes and units from the expansion’s other new races, the Lizardmen and Wood Elves.
Whittle Them Down. Then Stomp Them Out.
Led by their hero, Chakax , the Lizardmen of Hammer and Hold excel at stinging their foes with Poison damage that persists from round to round, before finally closing into melee for the kill.
As developer Michael Gernes explains, this race is at its best when its commander learns how to strike a balance between brutal aggression and subtler supporting tactics:
“Lizardmen are skilled at pelting the enemy with medium or short-ranged attacks before launching ferocious charges. Salamanders embody the faction’s balanced play style by combining solid melee potential with a Mobile breath attack they can use as they engage their foes.
“Additionally, Skink Skirmishers can use their own Mobile ranged attacks to deal poison damage that softens up enemies for the next round.
“Chakax, meanwhile, is excellent at dueling enemy heroes. He can use Relentless to bull through any bodyguard units in the way. Then, once he’s engaged with an enemy hero, he gains Swift ( , ) to strike first for the kill.
“Finally, the Lizardmen can use their Leaping Strike command card to greatly increase the impact of a sudden, coordinated assault.”
The High Elves can easily incorporate a Lizardmen regiment into a defensive strategy built around ranged damage; Poison enhances it by ensuring that any damage you land on foes will persist to the next round, making it all that much easier to pick them off with more ranged attacks.
Meanwhile, as the game’s most tactical race, the Empire is well-positioned to take advantage of whichever of the Lizardmen’s strengths best suit the game’s immediate situation. Salamanders, particularly, offer the Empire a range of tactical options; after one of them closes in upon the enemy ranks and uses its focus ability to damage an enemy, Karl Franz could refresh that Salamander, allowing it to fire again to finish off its foe, or further soften it up before moving into melee, either against the unit it blasted at range, or another enemy. Of course, there are plenty more ways that the Empire and Lizardmen can work well together to confront the forces of Destruction; they’re just waiting to be explored.
Warriors of the Wild
Hammer and Hold introduces the game’s first Wood Elves as members of a race that does best when it draws strength from the land. Several of their abilities derive benefits from interaction with Dangerous and Rough terrain, and clever players will quickly develop strategies for the Wood Elves that take advantage of terrain from a game’s setup through its final engagements.
Again, developer Michael Gernes provides more insight into the faction’s unique strengths:
“Players will do best with the Wood Elves when they embrace the race's strong bond with the wild and its skirmishing style of war. Wood Elf disks are suited to fighting engagements on their own terms and around favorable terrain.
“Tough and capable in melee, Athel Loren Dryads can use Strider and their special ability to make a stand on rough terrain or advance through it and hit hard.
“ Wardancers are at their best when they can engage last in a crucial scrum. Then they combine Swift ( , ) with an ability that boosts their attack and counter attack strengths up to five each. However, because this works anytime they’re not embattled, War Dancers are also great at deterring isolated enemies from pinning them.
“Meanwhile, the Wood Elf hero, Drycha , is great at supporting her fellow forest disks. By granting her Dryads an extra flip, she can help them coordinate powerful attacks after they move out of rough terrain, or even help them flip onto rough terrain and then through it to hammer opposing units. As a caster, Drycha can also use the command card Skin to Bark to make any Wood Elf disk extremely tough.”
The Wood Elves of Hammer and Hold are a force with which to be reckoned, and when they’re able to draw upon the strength of the land and pounce upon their foes, they can rip through engagements unscathed and with a brutal efficiency.
Among other things, this means that armies with a Wood Elf regiment will want prioritize terrain selection during setup, meaning that both their controller and their opponents will want to think carefully about how to approach initiative: If you take the initiative, you get to win ties within the game, but if you’re the last player, you’re the first to select terrain. Accordingly, players facing Wood Elves will have to make the difficult decision to either seize the initiative for the tie-breakers, or hand the initiative to the Wood Elves in order to deny the Wood Elf player a sheltered approach through favorable terrain like the Small Woods or Large Woods.
Ready for Battle
In Hammer and Hold , three new races join the battles of Warhammer: Diskwars . Though the expansion’s Dwarfs are its true stars, its new Lizardmen and Wood Elf units offer players even more options, as both races can form lethal alliances with any of the game’s other Order-aligned armies.
Better yet, you’ll be able to field a full regiment for either of these races out of just one copy of Hammer and Hold . You’ll have a full regiment’s worth of every disk in the box; it features one copy of each hero, one of each large disk, two of each medium disk, and three of each small disk.
Hammer and Hold is coming later this month, and the Old World will quake… Head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy today!
Coming soon: We’ll take a look at the Skaven and Dark Elf units of Legions of Darkness as well as a look at the reinforcements that Hammer and Hold offers the Empire and High Elves.
Warhammer: Diskwars is an epic game of heroes, armies, and brutal warfare for 2 - 4 players. At the game's heart art its disks, which represent heroes and units from the Old World. These maneuver across the battlefield by flipping end over end, and if any two disks overlap at the end of the round, they must fight!