News for April 2011
My Kingdom for a Horse 16
A preview for Omens of War, a supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay | Published 06 April 2011

As any general knows, cavalry are a powerful force on the battlefield. Not only do they fight from an elevated position, offering obvious tactical advantages, they are also able to sweep across the field more swiftly than units on foot. So when the omens of war are heard, the wisest leaders call for their cavalry.

Omens of War introduces several brutal new mechanics to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, including detailed fighting styles and Enhance cards, which were previewed in the Fighting in Style article. Today we will take a look at mounts and mounted combat, as well as a career that makes good use of both.

Why Ride?

Aside from quick travel between encounters and the heroic status that comes with riding into town on horseback, why would you want to invest in a beast of burden? Not only does a horse offer increased mobility, but there are direct combat advantages to fighting from horseback. Characters trained in Ride benefit from the following when fighting on horseback:

  • Add a Fortune die to all Melee Attacks due to the advantage of height and leverage
  • Add a Misfortune die to all opponents attacking the rider in melee, unless the attacker is using a halberd, lance, spear, or similar weapon

However, these benefits must be balanced with the disadvantages that come with riding a half-ton of horseflesh into battle. Ranged attacks from horseback suffer from an additional Misfortune die, while spellcasting increases in difficulty by adding an additional Challenge die to compensate for maintaining the reins while attempting to harness the Winds of Magic.

Saddle Up

Acquiring a horse is the first step in unlocking the advantages of riding into battle. While some careers have immediate access to a mount (see below), most characters will have to earn theirs, either by taming a wild mount with a daunting Handle Animal check or by purchasing one with their adventuring spoils. Horses come in three broad types:

  • Draught horses: These large, even-tempered horses are commonly referred to as “cold bloods.” They are bred for power and docility, not for speed. While most horses have the Swift ability, draught horses do not. They are not ideal mounts, but they are less prone to spook or startle than most other breeds.
  • Riding horses: Known as “hot bloods,” these horses are normally more spirited and finely proportioned than draught horses. Most riding horses are mares or geldings, and they are commonly used by roadwardens, messengers, travellers, or anyone else trying to cover a lot of ground in a hurry.
  • Warhorses: These are the finest examples of horseflesh in the Old World - just ask any warhorse breeder. Larger than a riding horse, faster than a draught horse, warhorses are the product of meticulous breeding and years of training. These mounts offer a Fortune die to their rider on any check to maintain control in battle, in addition to the Swift trait.

Know Your Limits

No matter how well-bred, no beast is without its limits. To reflect this, every horse has a Wind score, which represents how much strain, stress, and abuse it can take before it gives up or possibly dies. Players can track the Wind of most mounts by using Fatigue or Stress tokens, however some exceptional horses (with exceptional bonds with their riders) have specific Follower sheets with separate Wind trackers.

An example of a career that must maintain a strong bond with their mount is the Outrider. This career path takes advantage of the Trusty Horse Follower sheet included in Omens of War. Players aspiring to walk the Outrider’s path might want to begin their study of horseback riding post haste.

Hold on to your reins, more information on Omens of War is waiting on the horizon.

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 (16)

Published: 3/23/2013 9:55:42 AM

 Or you can just print the graphic that is here…


Published: 4/19/2011 5:13:30 AM

 I doubt there will be horse sheets for all players. As I read it, there will be ONE horse sheet in the box, for the outrider career. The other horses are just written as equipment on the character sheet and you use fatigue tokens to keep track of wind.

Published: 4/17/2011 9:47:19 PM

I'm curious to know how well this will dovetail with the pet rules.  I mean, you can certainly say that there's a bit of difference to commanding a dog vs. a horse, but still the rules don't need to be that different.

Published: 4/8/2011 4:38:41 AM

What about dwarves? are there ponnies for them?

In my party there is a dwarf. What happens if each non-dwarf character uses a horse? Does the dwarf have to go by foot?? What a headache!!

Published: 4/6/2011 12:55:25 PM

i remember the days when all we had was a pen and paper character sheets, i do miss the good old days, now be a dear and pass me my d10's ;) only pulling your legs :) lol

Published: 4/6/2011 10:59:09 AM

@JA_42 - The preview clearly states that most people can keep track of their mount's Wind using fatigue and stress tokens and that only specific careers, like the Outrider have a special mount with it's own companion sheet, so I don't think you'll see more than one of each type of sheet. Shouldn't be a problem unless you have multiple players that want to be an Outrider, but as there's only one of those Career Sheets as well, it's no different from the problem you'd already have due to that anyway.

I'm assuming that they'll have cost info on the various types of horses and not just purchase price and rarity (I'm assuming it's harder to find a Warhorse than a Draft horse and harder to find a Warhorse outside of a larger city or town for example), but also upkeep. Food and stabling for your horse should not be trivial and the side effects of underfeeding your horse in terms of loss of Fortune dice or introduction of additional Misfortune dice will hopefully be covered. In other words, I hope they've given us guidelines for incorporating horses that go beyond just the combat effects. Again, we may not need hard and fast rules, but guidelines and examples would certainly be more helpful than just leaving it up to each GM.

I don't want it to end up similar to ammo, where the cost of a quiver full of arrows is given, but not the individual cost of more arrows. I shouldn't have to buy a new quiver every time I buy arrows. Then in combat the fact that you have a limited supply and there are rules for recovering spent arrows post combat would indicate that tracking ammo is important, and yet we have an Action card (sorry can't remember name of the top of my head and don't have access to my stuff at the moment) that basically provides suppressive fire, but doesn't have a fixed ammo cost to use.

Published: 4/6/2011 6:48:11 AM

Me want Slaanesh too :D

Published: 4/6/2011 3:33:49 AM

Sound great...

but hope it's not only one horse sheet per box (per horse type)...

I mean, hope all players (4 or 5) can have their own horse sheet (regular/standard, maybe not for exceptionnal ones)...


But soung great, and day one for my part

Published: 4/6/2011 2:52:06 AM

Very nice preview, can't wait for this expansion and I can only hope to see it soon in  stores. The horse and Outrider are very nice indeed. Now I will have to think about an adventure on the borders of Bretonia to use it all or maybe on the boarders of Kislev, who knows?

Thanks FFG for this excitening new preview and let's just hope that this game in 2 weeks will be in stores.

Published: 4/6/2011 2:49:22 AM

It amazes me how incredibly well new rules, like horseback warfare, is incorporated into the WFRP3 system by just adding some dice to the dice pool.
As a consequence, it's also dead easy for any GM to add your own house rules, or even temporary modifications if you like, should you feel that you want to add something or if certain aspects of your game feels imbalanced.
As a GM, I let our Kislevite amber wizard apprentice get an owl as a pet (for four creation points), inspired by the ratcatcher's dog, and it felt very easy to come up with a set of rules to let it be more than just an ornament on his shoulder, and still without (in my view) imbalancing the game.
My compliments to the team behind the dice pool system. It's genious!

Ragnar Black
Published: 4/6/2011 2:05:27 AM

 Nice Idea, horseback fighting..I (GM) have to make some interesting joust in Bretonia.. Very nice idea.. 

Ludlov Thadwin of Sevenpiecks
Published: 4/6/2011 1:38:54 AM

Wow, I hadn't even thought of the cool possibilities horses could bring to WFRP3. This looks very exciting! Horses are magnificent animals and they deserve to be more than just taxis in an RPG. Looks like I'm going to get this expansion :)

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