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YMMV / Warhammer

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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.
  • 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...).
  • Broken Base: Pretty much every new Army Book sets 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 became a mainstay.
    • Generally, every new army book will break two bases — the opposing armies will complain about how many great things the new army got, or how their features are better than the features of the players' armies; the players of the new army book will complain about all of the flaws, or how they can'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 the magic items in particular), 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.
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    • Anytime Matt Ward indulged his habit of retconning previously established lore. 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: Before Archaon destroyed everything and the Continuity Reboot of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, these monsters wreaked havoc:
    • Nagash the Undying is an immensely powerful necromancer whose end goal is to kill every living thing in the world and resurrect them all as his undead slaves. The firstborn son of King Khetep of Khemri, Nagash coveted power and immortality right from the beginning. He first learned dark magic from a group of Dark Elf captives he was interrogating. As a reward for this knowledge, he had their leader blinded and her tongue and hands cut off, then buried alive, and the rest executed. When his brother was crowned King after his father’s death instead of him, he took power by entombing him alive. He ruled Khemri through fear and brutality, building a massive pyramid from slave labor. It took an alliance of Kings from other parts of Nehekhara to finally end his reign of terror. Later, he regained his power, and after failing to conquer all of Nehekhara, he decided that if he couldn’t rule it, no one could. He proceeded to wipe out the population by getting the Skaven to pollute its main water source and using his dark magic to cause death and decay across the land. If this wasn’t enough, he planned to resurrect the dead as his slaves, but his plans were thwarted when the Skaven, who feared his power, helped Alcadizaar slay him. Despite his apparent death, Nagash still lives due to his dark magic, and, feared by all who know of him, is arguably the greatest threat to the Old World in existence.
    • Gorthor the Beastlord, the most infamous of all Beastman warlords, amassed a reputation that was dark even by the standards of his depraved, Chaos-tainted race. Murdering and skinning the Bray-Shamans of every tribe that opposed him—an act even other Beastmen would consider taboo—Gorthor made their hides into a hypnotic cloak that enabled him to unite all the Beastmen of the Middle Mountains under his banner. Pouring into the Empire, Gorthor's horde devastated Ostland and Hochland, leaving millions dead and depopulating both provinces for decades to come. Finally halted at Hochland's capital, Gorthor razed most of the city, intent on leaving no one alive. Having vowed to exterminate humanity, Gorthor died in combat with the Count of Hochland, leaving behind a name that still evokes fear in man and Beastman alike.
    • Konrad von Carstein is considered Vlad von Carstein's great mistake. A sadistic, insane vampire who relishes murdering those around him, Konrad launches an attempt to make himself the dominant Count after Vlad's demise. With no remorse at killing his own "siblings", Konrad launches a brutal campaign that nearly depopulates Avarheim, having entire villages razed and put to the sword while also starting a war with the dwarves and massacring their people as well. Konrad even holds lavish banquets with hundreds of women, some barely out of childhood, presented to him so he may bleed them dry or see them torn apart, claiming that beauty is "only in the taking". Konrad intends on sweeping further into the empire, dedicated to building his own empire and slaughtering everything in his path to do so.
    • Mannfred von Carstein betrayed his immortal father Vlad, informing the Grand Theologian of Vlad's weaknesses, which caused him to fall in battle. Mannfred proceeded to sit out the Succession Wars, going from village to village to kill underage virgins in dark rituals for the fun of it while using his right hand man Skellan to help with Konrad's atrocities and stoke his brother's paranoia and bloodlust. Mannfred eventually launched gruesome campaigns that put any living thing to the sword on scales similar to Konrad, creating a legion of the dead to kill all in their path. Upon his eventual resurrection, Mannfred skinned a witch hunter to announce his return and helped to revive Nagash and set him upon the world, as well as trying to manipulate a war between elves and dwarves. When the End Times occur, Mannfred fights for the last remnants of the world, only to sell them out to Chaos and cause the end of the world and the deaths of everyone there until the rebirth in Age of Sigmar. Loyal to none save himself and cruel and sadistic to levels that few can match, Mannfred is the vampire who constantly shows the world what being a monster truly means.
    • Sigvald the Magnificent, Slaanesh's Geld-Prince, was cast out of his tribe at an early age for indulging in cannibalism. Killing his father and selling his soul for power, he married two women, only to rip off their faces and replace them with doll porcelain once he grew bored of them. The third of his wives was kidnapped by another lord, and he abandoned her to die. He then took command of a Chaos army, going on a rampage butchering any whom he deemed not beautiful enough, leaving entire cities dead in his wake. Sigvald then went on a campaign against the High Elves, killing every single one he saw just because their hair was better than his. When the Shadow Warriors struck back, killing a number of his men, Sigvald refused to retreat due to a fear of his pride being wounded. Eventually, as more of his lieutenants rose against him, Sigvald grew a body count of his own men as high as the Elves'. He eventually permitted his own army to perish behind him as a point of pride, refusing to stop a duel to the death.
    • Valkia the Bloody is the champion of Khorne. A mortal warrior of the Schwarzvolf clan, Valkia murdered her father to take control, purged her tribe of the "weak", married the chieftain of the bloody Clans, raped him to produce her heirs and eventually killed him for his sexism. After her mortal death, Valkia was reborn as a Daemon of Khorne, leading a savage campaign to exterminate her old tribe, killing every man, woman and child while personally slaying her own daughter and brother without remorse. Since then, Valkia arrives to battlefields to promote horrific slaughters in Khorne's name, even teaching the Norscan clans the Blood Eagle and having it practiced on an entire citadel of dwarves. Valkia inspired a campaign that sought to wipe out all life in Nordland and, during the End Times, helps Chaos's forces to come and slaughter all in their path. Devoted to slaughter and bloodshed, Valkia embodies the Khornate philosophy that "it matters not from where the blood flows. Only that it flows."
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Grimgor Ironhide. Many fans dislike him for replacing a better thought-out Black Orc character, but writers love 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Many given the game's length. To name a few; the Night Goblin warlord Skarsnik, the Chaos champion Wulfrik the Wanderer and the Tomb Queen Khalida. They are special characters who are not the main leaders of their factions, yet feature in stories outside the armybooks.
    • The Von Carstein lineage of vampires, to the point that the 8th edition army book for Vampire Counts, four of the six special characters were Von Carsteins. This is at least better than the 6th edition (only two special characters; Manfred Von Carstein and Zacharias the Everliving, a Necrarch) and much better than the 7th edition (only the four Von Carsteins).
    • 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.
  • 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: With fans of Warcraft, mostly caused by the Urban Legend of Zelda about the first Warcraft game, Orcs & Humans, being originally intended to be a Warhammer game before Games Workshop stopped Blizzard to protect their IP.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A large portion of the fandom hate with passion everything related to The End Times and the Age of Sigmar, to the point that they consider Total War: Warhammer as the real continuation. For a good reason the fan-made Fantasy Battles: The Ninth Age was created.
  • 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 would balance they're powerful units out 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 — 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 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.
    • 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 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.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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 for years for the occasion and that 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 heavy Nerfs to cavalry units hit them particularly hard due to them being a cavalry-focused army.
  • 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!: 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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