With Command Points changing the game (quite literally) and allowing all heroes to use their Command Abilites it’s time to bust out the Heroes once again. But is this a return to the days of HeroHammer? Not exactly.
There was a time in the ancient history of Warhammer Fantasy that the game was dubbed “HeroHammer” – this simply meant that the game had really become about taking the biggest, baddest hero(es) you could field and smashing through the enemy with them. Due to the way ranks and wounds worked, having a super-killy hero in the fight could win you more than just a fight – it could sweep entire armies off the table. Anyone else remember the Frostblade + Vampire Lord combo?
Things changed when GW changed out the way Hordes worked. The game shifted away from heroes for a bit and slid towards massive spells that could wipe entire armies. Purple Sun, Dwellers, and Pit of Shades were all VERY common spells that wizards would try to cast. Hey – you needed something to take out units with 40 models in them and Magic was the answer.
All that changed when the Old World ended and was reborn as Age of Sigmar. It seemed like Games Workshop wanted to pump the breaks a bit and pull back on the HeroHammer and the Crazy Magic from the previous edition. Heroes were limited to using their Command Abilities only if they were the General of the army. And as for magic…well, the initial spells were a bit lack-luster to say the least.
The new baseline was a simpler game. Each unit had their own rules and the “Super Hero” stuff was toned-down quite a bit. But with 2.0, it’s feeling like GW is stepping on the gas and ramping back-up to a new era of Heroes and Magic.
If you’re not familiar with the Command Abilities we’ve got a primer on how those work. Magic is getting pretty nuts again. But all of these changes are still somewhat tame compared to the old days. At the same time, it does help to bring Wizards and Heroes back to being more than just a model that hits a little harder or buffs a unit a little more.
In AoS 2.0 it’s now worth taking more Heroes – they are harder to shoot at, will have more spells access, and have new relics/weapons to use. And, perhaps most importantly, they can use those Command Abilities to create some truly devastating combos. This new era of AoS has more reasons to take heroes than the previous edition – it is a return of the Heroes and Wizards to the tabletop…but it’s not quite the HeroHammer of old (and that’s a good thing).
Heroes and Wizards are going to be useful and important again – but without the complete dominance they once had on the game. Your baseline units are still going to be useful. Positioning still matters. And smart play will win the day vs throwing uber-bro in the thick of the fight and hoping your dice hold out.
What did you think of the old days of HeroHammer? Are you glad to see Heroes/Wizards get more of a battle role without going full-blown super hero mode?