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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The motivations behind every faction and race can be read in many different ways:
    • Depending on your point of view (or that of the writer) The Empire is either an enlightened, civilized, and honorable nation, a corrupt wreck that's about to fall apart at any moment, or a brutally powerful dictatorship which holds effective control over the civilized world.
    • Likewise, Bretonnia is either the hallmark of feudal chivalry with brave knights and steadfast peasant archers, a bucolic alternative to Empire or a haughty feudal state with snobbish, foolhardy and clueless aristocracy and Dung Ages downtrodden peasants no better than slaves.
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    • The forces of Chaos, in stark contrast to their 40k counterparts, can actually be considered to be in a gray area, as they have their own deep warrior culture and aren't actually doing anything worse than their counterparts (for a measure), since their raiding and pillaging is completely in-line with their culture's morality. They still worship Daemons and their gods want to destroy the world though.
    • An entirely humorous interpretation of Archaon the Everchosen among Warhammer players is that he went insane upon realizing that he was the designated villain/antichrist character in the background lore of a tabletop figurines game played by man-children. His Medium Awareness powers both his knowingly ironic assumption of his role and his desire to destroy everything.
    • Are the Dwarfs being bitter sticks in mud because they desperately feel the need to save what's left of their kingdoms from the many incursions of Greenskins and Skaven and betrayals they got over the centuries and thus have sympathetic motives, or are they just Lawful Stupid grudge-obsessed and self-righteous maniacs who would turn against their human allies and go into self-destructive wars just to avenge minor and petty offenses?
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  • Author's Saving Throw: With respect to Orcs and Goblins. After Grimgor Ironhide was portrayed as effortlessly beating Archaon the Everchosen into the ground in the official ending story of the Storm of Chaos, Games Workshop had him get involved in the Nemesis Crown campaign, where he was blown to pieces by the very Artifact of Doom he was seeking. To be fair though, Grimgor blind-sided him and Archaon had already been injured from his fights with Valten and Luthor and various others right before. So it is at least somewhat plausible. This may also be why Grimgor is still to be found in the most recent Orcs and Goblins army book, and also why the Nemesis Crown campaign was an exclusively online event, rather than being featured in White Dwarf like most of the recent big campaigns (Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade, Albion, the aforementioned Storm of Chaos...).
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  • Awesome Ego: In other cases, a person who refuses to ever, under any circumstance, consider themselves even vaguely subordinate to someone else would be an an unlikable, impossibly arrogant individual. Settra the Imperishable however, does this while rejecting an offer from the Chaos Gods themselves to be able to conquer everything in reality under their banner which is of course, awesome.
  • Broken Base: Pretty much every new Army Book set off the base in some manner, with certain "exploits" coming to the fore immediately, and some taking a good deal of time to get revealed. 8th Edition completely altered the previous tactics ("Multiple Small Units" or MSU, which featured tiny units, a super-Lord and War Machines to make unrealistic (and unintended by the game designers) but highly-competitive armies) — instead, large units then became a mainstay.
    • Generally, every new army book would simultaneously break two bases — players of the opposing armies would complain about how many great things the new army got, or how their features were better than the features of the other players' armies; the players of the new army book would complain about all of the flaws springing from the new army book, or how they couldn't play the way they used to. A perfect example is the 8th edition High Elves book: rival players immediately broke into an uproar over how powerful the Frost Phoenix, Book of Hoeth and especially the Banner of the World Dragon (a 2+ Ward Save against all Magical Attacks, and there are a lot of those) were. The book was virtually a Tier-Induced Scrappy (with even many Elf players refusing to use those particular magic items out of protest / sportsmanship), yet many High Elf players immediately complained when the Dark Elf book came out with some tricks that were noticeably better than their High Elf versions.
    • Much like in the 40k fandom, any time Matt Ward indulged his habit of retconning previously established lore was met with negative reactions. The same goes with Robin Cruddace.
    • The End Times. On the one hand, many fans love it for being the epic, final culmination of the great struggles wracking the universe, putting an end to the long stasis and stagnant nature of the setting and making character death a real possibility. On the other, many fans hate it for introducing questionable Retcons, not always handling its storylines gracefully, and almost literally destroying the setting altogether. Averted by the bleak, nihilistic, and universally-panned ending.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Grimgor Ironhide. Many fans disliked him for replacing a better thought-out Black Orc character, but the writers loved him, having him stop Archaon at the last minute rather than any of the characters set up as Archaon's ACTUAL enemies (though this was due to the results of the White Dwarf campaign, not authorial fiat).
    • Talking about Archaon, he would have gotten nowhere in the Storm of Chaos campaign, had the organizers not opted to make it more "dramatic". Needless to say, some on the side of Order complained about the blatant favoritism.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Many were found, given the game's long existence. To name a few; the Night Goblin warlord Skarsnik, the Chaos champion Wulfrik the Wanderer, the archmage Balthazar Gelt and the Tomb Queen Khalida. They are special characters who are not the main leaders of their factions, yet feature in their own stories outside the armybooks.
    • Scyla Anfinngrim, the only one of the original Champions of Chaos to return in the latest army book, despite being basically a slightly tougher Chaos Spawn with magic resistance.
    • Slambo, a generic axe-wielding Chaos Warrior model from an early edition. Thanks to his old-school design and unique "viking halo" helmet, he’s been adopted as something of a mascot by the portions of the community still flying the old colors in the wake of the changes wrought by the End Times. This surge of popularity even earned him a new official resin model in 2017.
  • Easily Forgiven: To some, the High Elves took Malekith's ascension to the Phoenix Throne and working alongside the Dark Elves in the End Times too well or accepted it too quickly, considering Malekith's centuries-spanning grudge wars against the High Elves.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Forces of Chaos, Dark Elves and the Skaven have some lovely little toys.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The dark elves, witch elves in particular. And all Slaanesh worshippers/daemons, it's a pleasure god, what do you expect? Although Slaanesh goes quickly from "sexy" to "the Caligula-movie level disturbing" to just plain horrifying.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A large portion of the Warhammer fandom hate everything related to The End Times and the Age of Sigmar with a passion, to the point that they consider Total War: Warhammernote  the real continuation of the setting. The fan-made Fantasy Battles: The Ninth Age was created purely so players could effectively ignore anything regarding The End Times or the Age of Sigmar and continue playing Warhammer.
  • Fetish Retardant: Slaanesh has so much Nightmare Fuel about him that even though he is a god of desire, it's hard to actually be aroused by anything about him or his followers.
  • Game-Breaker: Daemons of Chaos are probably the most infamous example in 7th edition. They're essentially a Brute force/Elitist type army, so one would think that balancing out their powerful units would be done by their cost. WRONG! Not only was the whole army REALLY strong, but everything had a Ward save (a saving throw against attacks that's usually rare because you can't have it be altered or ignored by anything — most armies would usually have them on really expensive units, not everything), everything caused Fear or Terror, and the army's magic was not only powerful, but incredibly under-priced for what it did. All of this basically meant most enemy armies would be running scared or dead before they had much chance to actually fight back, and even the Vampire Counts and Dark Elves that were considered the best armies after it struggled against them. Current rules Nerfed them, however, with limits place on magic and fear and terror effects getting being nowhere nearly as deadly as they used to be.
    • Immediately post 8th edition, the Lizardmen became this way mainly due to changes in magic (Slann were allowed an extra dice for each spell roll). Ironic given that the book was strong but balanced in 7th edition. The 8th edition Lizardmen book fixed several of the issues, while creating new issues.
    • The High Elf book in 8th Edition features a big one in The Banner of the World Dragon. It effectively neuters many enemy Characters attempting to fight the unit with the Banner (a 2+ Ward Save against Magical Attacks, and most Characters would naturally have magical weapons), and basically renders that unit unkillable to Daemon Armies. Even their Frostheart Phoenix is extremely dangerous, packing a -1 to Hit De-Buff on the enemy unit.
  • Genre Turning Point: In the mid-1980s, the game popularised fantasy in Wargaming, which had until then been dominated by historical games, and along with Battletech, which did the same for science fiction, brought a new generation into the hobby.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Americans Love Lizardmen and Skaven. The two armies aren't that popular in Britain, but over the Atlantic, they're both very commonly collected.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Great Taurus, a giant red bull with wings used by the Chaos Dwarfs as a monstrous mount, becomes quite funny if you remember the slogan of a certain energy drink.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Khazrak One-Eye is the most brilliant champion of the Beastmen who ever lived. Taking over by defeating his mentor, but sparing him and keeping one of his horns for respect, Khazrak organized a series of raids on the Drakwald villages, luring out human forces and eventually losing an eye to Count Boris Todbringer. Khazrak proceeded to return the favor by defeating Boris and taking his eye in turn, but let him live because he loved matching wits with the man. Khazrak was responsible for the brilliant Battle of Grimminhagen where he lured in a huge force of the Empire and completely wiped them out, before resuming his brilliant raids and tactics. Uncommonly intelligent and even possessing a sense of honor not often seen to his race, Khazrak meets his death in the End Times at the hands of Boris, but not before he lures out Boris's forces to leave his city undefended and ripe to plunder by the armies of Archaon.
    • Count Vlad von Carstein is a powerful vampire and the progenitor of the von Carstein bloodline. After freeing himself from the control of Nagash, Vlad resurfaces centuries later to seize control of Sylvania and uses brilliant tactics and intimidation to keep his hold, constantly coming out on top via his brilliant military tactics and political machinations. Despite his evil, Vlad deeply loves his wife Isabella, and is one of the few villains to drive the Empire to its knees. Even in the End Times, Vlad never loses his style or redeeming qualities and ultimately dies with Isabella in a Mercy Kill when she is corrupted by Nurgle.
    • Settra the Imperishable sacrificed his own sons to become the Gods' chosen, and successfully led a campaign throughout Khemri, reuniting his land and preserving his nearly-dead people. Creating a golden age through his tyranny, Settra conquered not only Khemri, but progressively led a campaign, nearly conquering the entire world with his power and strategic mastery. Disappointed that he could not live long enough to conquer all of the Old World, Settra created the Mortuary Cult to revive him. When, thanks to the workings of the sorcerer Nagash, he Came Back Wrong as an undead Tomb King, Settra took his land back once more, and held it effortlessly, fending off and defeating even the most powerful of invaders, such as the Norscans who raided his treasury, with ease. Even when confronted by the Chaos Gods in the End Times, Settra never surrendered, choosing to be defiant in the face of the world's end.
    • Kouran Darkhand is the right-hand of Malekith the Witch-King. Having earned his position by brilliant campaigns and ruthlessly eliminating those in his way, Kouran lives to see Malekith take his place as ruler of all elf-kind, killing and outwitting any inferior foolish enough to seek his position. A genius tactician, Kouran once sacrificed half an army to secure victory and is known and feared by all enemies to the "Druchii."
    • Alith Anar saw the schism of the elves and Malekith's treachery annihilate his entire family and home of Nagarythe. Giving in to vengeance with his warriors, Alith became the Shadow King who harried, outplayed and destroyed countless Druchii forces, slaughtering any who surrendered or fled to sow fear through the Dark Elves' ranks. Even after the Sundering, Alith continued to lead his forces to kill as many Druchii as possible with brilliant strategies, once even infiltrating their court to dance with Queen Morathi and steal from her before tricking his pursuers into drinking poison. At the End Times, Alith places the fate of the elven kingdoms above personal revenge, killing Tyrion and wounding Malekith to make the latter king of the elves but with the reminder that the Shadow King would be waiting should he ever slip back to his dark habits.
    • Gorbad Ironclaw is a brilliant Orc Warboss who stood out among his typically brutish people. First taking power by defeating his enemies in battle, he amassed a power base of countless Orcs, even using clever tactics such as assassination. Then, after handily defeating most of the Dwarfs, Gorbad used his power to wage war on the Empire. Combining his people's might with cunning and intelligence, Gorbad outplayed and defeated most Imperial forces that opposed him, even building a makeshift bridge from debris to sack the city of Nuln. Despite being permanently wounded by opposing general Count Adolphus as he destroyed the province of Solland, Gorbad defeated Adolphus and pressed on to the Imperial capital. Despite losing many troops due to initial overconfidence and the wound, Gorbad recovered and unleashed wyverns upon the city which slew the Emperor, and was stopped only inches from victory. Even when without most of his army and cornered by the vengeful Dwarfs on his way back to his clan, Gorbad fought valiantly and became a legend to the Greenskin people.
  • Memetic Mutation: A lot from nicknames such as the Hypnotoad for Slann, Hulking Out for when Teclis drinks his strength potion, to things like Sigmar being the Patron God of Shouting and Hammers. Also expect your opponent to declare casting Lord Kroak's spell as "I'MA CHARGIN MAH LAY-ZER!"
    • Previous editions of the game had Dwarf armies that were quite easy to make overpowered. This led to the term "Beardy" to refer to any army or rule that is overpowered/easily abused.
    • The Empire's fluff of the elector counts trying to keep the Skaven's existence a secret to avoid mass panic has led to fans jokingly claiming that Skaven don't exist.
  • Nausea Fuel: Ogre eating habits, Chaos mutations, and pretty much everything about the Skaven, depending on one's tolerance for rats; one of the most disgusting aspects of the Skaven are Clan Moulder's "experiments".
  • Never Live It Down: While removed from later editions, you can bet everyone is never going to forget that Malekith and Morathi used to be implied to be in an incestuous relationship.
  • Squick: All over the place, from Malekith having his eternally forge-hot armor riveted to his bones to the origins of the Tomb Kings.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Oldhammer movement, which plays the 3rd edition rules and army lists, ignoring any changes afterwards.
    • The Fantasy Battles: The Ninth Age movement, for those who hate The End Times and Age of Sigmar and want to keep playing Warhammer.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Many fans were disappointed with the "Storm of Chaos" campaign, for which Games Workshop was building up the lore years beforehand just for the occasion and potentially offered many opportunities to advance the Fantasy background. What happened at the end? That Games Workshop decided to leave everything just like as it was before the campaign.
    • The whole business of Eltharion the Blind. At one point during the sixth edition, Malekith captured Eltharion. He tortured him and removed his eyes, and sent what remained of Eltharion back to Ulthuan to strike fear into the High Elves. He made a full recovery and, full of hate to his dark cousins, organized an invasion campaign to exterminate the Dark Elves. In later editions, like the Storm of Chaos, the entire Blind story was ignored, and Eltharion remained the same as his previous incarnation.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The Vampire Counts and Daemons of Chaos, especially the latter.
    • The Ogre Kingdoms were this for a while, until their 8th edition update made them a common tournament army. Wood Elves also suffered a long lull between updates until late 8th edition.
    • Bretonnia suffered this after a general heavy Nerfs to cavalry units hit them particularly hard due to them being a cavalry-focused army.
  • Ugly Cute: The oldschool design of the Chaos Dwarves with those short, stubby bodies, huge silly hats and Cute Little Fangs made them look like adorable characters from a children's book rather than the ruthless demon worshippers, slavers and weapon dealers they are intended to be.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The Pygmys of the Southlands, a faction from the very early days of Warhammer. Even if one disregards the fact that they are based on actually existing people and treated like something fictional, something that many fantasy franchises are guilty of, one can't help but to be deeply bothered— and indeed many have been— that the models look like something out of a racist caricature (complete with overly large red lips and everything) and the fact that they were the only dark-skinned people in the setting for the longest time doesn't help matters either. There is a reason why they have not been mentioned for decades and are a concept even more dead than the Squats of Warhammer 40000.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Caledor II the Warrior, Phoenix King of the Elves, is a one-man reason for the decline of the once great Elven Kingdom. Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth, took advantage of this elf's mountainous arrogance by sending a bunch of dark elves disguised as high elves to attack a dwarfish caravan. High King Gotrek of the dwarfs sends an emissary to Ulthuan, demanding an explanation for the attack and compensation.
    • What you'd expect: Caledor being surprised that his people are accused of something they haven't done, ordering his people to investigate on the attacks to find the perpetrators and offer compensation to the dwarfs for the lost caravan.
    • What happens instead: Caledor arrogantly responds that he will only answer to pleas, not demands, and sends the emissary back to Karaz-a-Karak with nothing.
    • But Wait, There's More! Gotrek is monumentally pissed, but he sends the emissary again. The emissary then says that he will return to his king with double the compensation he asked or a shaved beard (Shaving their beard is the biggest insult you can perform on a dwarf!)
    • What you'd expect: Caledor coming back to his senses and doing what you expected at first.
    • What happens instead: Caledor orders his retainers to shave the emissary's beard, then sends him back to Karaz-a-Karak, with a message to Gotrek stating that, if he wants compensation, he can come to Ulthuan personally to get it.
    • The result: The War of the Beard. The dwarfs took a very big hit because of it, but the elven empire ended up on the verge of annihilation, and Caledor died by Gotrek's hand. To add insult to injury, Caledor's Phoenix Crown, the most prized elven artifact, was taken from his corpse and is still on public display in Karaz-a-Karak to this day.
    • Archaon is prophecized to be the Everchosen of Chaos who will destroy the world, but he hates the Chaos Gods and wishes to defy them, even to kill them, if possible.
    • You'd Expect: Archaon to try not to fall to Chaos.
    • Instead: Archaon tries to defy the Chaos Gods' plan to turn him into the Everchosen and destroy the world by...becoming the Everchosen and trying to destroy the world. Needless to say, his plan doesn't work out.

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