News for March 2011
Fighting in Style 20
A preview for Omens of War, an upcoming Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay supplement
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay | Published 16 March 2011

The unit of Empire swordsmen continued through the ravine, which was lit by a broken path of torches left by their lone scout - a huntsman whose name they continually forgot. The sergeant led the contingent methodically, motioning with his hands to ensure that their flanks and rear were watched. All seemed quiet and at ease. That is, until they found the scout’s gruesome body hanging from a tree, and a pair of dark crimson forms lapping up his pooling blood from the forest floor...

Omens of War is a deadly new supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay that will inject your campaigns with an extra, unhealthy dose of violence. While Game Masters will be given access to all sorts of cruelty to dish out in their encounters, players are armed with new abilities and techniques in the form of fighting styles, Enhance cards, and several new combat-oriented careers. Today we’ll take a closer look at the fighting styles found in Omens of War and the all-new Enhance action cards.

Develop Your Own Style

Violence is an everyday fact of life in the Old World, and it’s difficult to survive - particularly as an adventurer - without learning the basics of self defence. Even the humblest scribe or merchant in the Empire knows which end of the sword to grip, and to be perfectly frank even some soldiers go their entire careers without learning much more than the basics of parry and thrust.

But some warriors go beyond the basics. Some of them dedicate themselves to the study of warfare and violence. These individuals may learn or develop a distinctive style of war, where every cut, thrust, and movement is part of a greater whole and a long-term strategy. For these individuals, Omens of War features action cards collectively referred to as fighting styles.

Fighting styles are a great way to give your character a unique identity. Regardless of your character’s career or lifestyle, violence is inevitable in the Old World, and everyone needs to fight if they hope to survive. Often times fighting styles derive from necessity, so simply choosing a fighting style can give you more insight into your character. Does your Coachmen arm himself with a blade in his off-hand because it’s cheaper than a shield? Perhaps your dwarf Hunter prefers to wield an axe with both hands, since he worked as a lumberjack for much of his youth.

The fighting styles described in Omens of War include:

Zweihander: A dangerous, destructive style, focusing on the use of a massive greatweapon. Favoured by Greatswords of the Empire, dwarf hammerers, some warrior-priests of Sigmar, and anyone else with two hands and a large weapon.
Bulwark: A defensive style requiring a shield in one hand and a hand weapon such as a sword in the other. An example would be Empire Swordsmen fighting in close formation and supporting one another.
Hunter’s Eye: The kind of style that would be used largely in either Hochland or Stirland, a style of archery that emphasises awareness and patience.
Diestro: Fashionable amongst the noble elite of the Empire. Fencing weapons and off-hand daggers are used with speed and grace.
Twin Weapon: Warriors who use the Twin Weapon style forgo a shield and wield a second hand weapon, spinning and slashing like a whirling storm. Chaos Marauders and Beastmen often use this kind of fighting style.
Thunder: A style that involves pushing the capabilities of black powder weapons to the limit... or, frankly, well beyond!
Mounted: Fighting from horseback is a style in itself. This style is commonly used by knights of the Empire, but similar techniques have been developed by cavalry of every race and nation.
Judgement: The Witch hunters of the Holy Order of the Templars of Sigmar teach a variety of deadly techniques, many requiring some combination of sword and pistol.

Many action cards are given the name of a fighting style as a trait. While these traits aren’t naturally restrictive or requirements, Game Masters can incorporate his own rules as to how fighting styles govern the use of certain action cards.

Get What You Give

Omens of War introduces the new concept of Enhance cards, which are a unique subset of Action cards that can be played alongside normal Action cards. Enhance cards allow players to remove certain dice from their their dice pools in order to trigger beneficial effects for the Action card they are attempting. For example, you may the Stilled Breath Enhance card in conjunction with a ranged Action card in order to better customise your attack.

Players have to decide which dice to remove before they roll, of course, so they’ll have to have a good sense of their own capabilities to make best use of Enhance cards - if he sacrifices a Fortune die to Enhance the attack, will he still hit? Just how much risk is he willing to take for the reward? These Enhance cards are linked to certain fighting styles through the traits assigned to the card.

Let’s say you’re playing a Reiklander Scout who spent some time in Stirland during a greenskin invasion, learning much of what he knows about archery from the keen-eyed huntsmen in service there (giving him training in Observation). To reflect this, you might choose to focus on the Hunter’s Eye fighting style, which naturally takes advantage of you ballistic skill. The Stilled Breath Enhance card is a great way to thematically give your Scout an advantage from a distance.

Check back soon for more information on Omens of War!

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a roleplaying game that sets unlikely heroes on the road to perilous adventure, in the grim setting of Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy world. Players will venture into the dark corners of the Empire, guided by luck and Fate, and challenge the threats that others cannot or will not face.

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Comments (20)

Published: 4/19/2011 5:21:43 AM

 The difficulty of the full draw is two challenge dice + two misfortune dice. A default challenge die is not added since this attack isn't against the targets defense. This also means that the target can't use  defense cards against it.


It's a simple Ballistic skill (AG) check with a difficulty of average (2d) plus 2 misfortune dice. It can not be defended against and it interrupts an opponents attack. What's not to like about that?

Published: 4/4/2011 6:35:51 AM

Can't wait to get the daemons of Khorne into my game! That's actually what I look forward to most. Not that the expansions of the rules aren't welcome, they certainly are.

Published: 4/2/2011 7:16:45 AM

anther cool part about the enhance card is now as a GM I have more option to make some monster leaders Nastier!!!!!!!

Published: 3/20/2011 3:39:07 AM

Hi. I looked again at the rules and it seems that actually the total difficulty could be 3 purple dices + 2 black dices. The FAQ and ERRATA document says that "deffault challenge level for Melee attack and Ranged attack actions is Easy (1d)". So THE FULL DRAW is a ranged attack actio nand should have a default difficulty of 1d, isn't it?

Published: 3/19/2011 9:22:01 AM

Well actually the base difficulty of one purple dice is not relavent because the skill check is not vs target defense, so technically the difficulty is two purple (not three purple) and two black - admittedly still pretty high. The beauty of the card is its effect: you can hold your attack and interrupt another's action possibly even canceling it altogether or cause them to take stress, which for non-nemesis adversaries equals damage. Two final thoughts would be that this action is geared toward more advanced characters that specialize in Ballistic actions so the difficulty would be balanced by a high base Characteristic along with one or two expertise dice and a few fortune dice and I see no reason why it could not be combined with the conservative side of Combat Focus. 

Published: 3/19/2011 4:31:09 AM

I dont see the point of the card THE FULL DRAW. Difficulty is 1 violet dice (default difficulty) + 2 violet dice + 2 black dice. So the difficulty is VERY HIGH!!! Why not use RANGED SHOT instead?? RANGED SHOT is far easier and recharge 0, so you can use it all the time.


So where is the advantage??? why I should "buy" this advance?? The only possible advantage I can see is againt a very armored enemy with very high defence (maybe 4 o 5? is there something with more defence??), but still I think the difficulty of THE FULL DRAW is too high. Anyone can see any other advantage???

Hauer Glaeken
Published: 3/16/2011 6:17:08 PM

 Great stuff ! I just can't wait to lay my hands on it. I hope that there will actually have new careers ! 

The Strolling Bones
Published: 3/16/2011 4:12:10 PM

This looks great, I'm most curious about Mounts as Followers and Severe Injuries, however the information here has me drooling slightly!

Ragnar Black
Published: 3/16/2011 2:49:37 PM

 I cant wait until get this!! Finally some nasty stuff for warriors!!

Published: 3/16/2011 2:36:13 PM

well, well...bye bye new HD, hello new Rpg box.

I didnt understand the Full Draw. Isnt better use a normal ranged attack? You attack and then wait to interrupt nd attack again?



Published: 3/16/2011 12:12:47 PM

Very nice, the "enhance" option will be nice for those who have advanced lots and have big dice pools.

I hope the enhance cards cover the full range of action types (combat, social etc.)

Published: 3/16/2011 11:48:18 AM

Amani - You could be right. That would be great. Warrior-priest or Hammerer -  my players would go insane to play those.

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