I was looking around for information on Amazons because they are not a popular warband for hints/tips on them and maybe to find a hired sword some one may have made for them. I have two such in my mind that I will be working on soonish.
When looking I came across this here/on the blog.
The gist of this is that Amazons are Over Powered and this I think is wrong. I wanted to counter the argument but as the blog post is 4 almost 5 years old and a blog post rather then on the forum I would bring it here to the forum.
The first point I would like to counter is that the Amazons should be compared to Skaven. The reason given in the blog was that they have more members then the other warbands. To me that’s not right as they cap at 15 the same as most other Human warbands and well Lizardmen top at 20 so that seams to fit skaven better in theory.
Now for raw numbers the best comparison is again to Human bands so I will compare them directly to the basic Merc bands from the main rule book.
Priestess vs Merc Captain:
Both have the same stats.
Same Skill options.
The Priestess has magic. Same as a free level.
Captain has a bonus based on Type: +1 Str, +6” LD radious, +100 gold. In two cases this is the same as a free level.
Priestess cost +10 GC
End Result: I feel with all considered the Priestess (Amazons) have the better deal but not by much.
Champion vs Champion
Both have the same stats.
Same gold cost
Amazons have +1 skill option
Mercs for all but Middenheim have nothing.
End Result: Amazons Champion is better but not by much. Middenheim may be better though.
Young Blood vs Totem Warrior
Totem warrior has +2 WS and Frenzy at +15 gold and +8 exp
Both have same skill options.
End Result: About equal in the over all but early game the Amazons have the edge but the Mercs can advance there Young Blood how they see fit better for a better late game hero. Though the Totem Warrior can get into the fight early to be a beast and gain kills. Totem Warrior wins.
So Amazons have the hero edge and by a good amount.
Warrior vs Warrior
Same stats and nothing extra for the same cost.
End Result: Tie
Scout vs Marksmen
Scouts at +5 gold get the Scout rule (double deployment and hidden at start of game).
Consider though that Scouts are 0-3 vs Marksmen are 0-7 giving the Mercs a great boost
Of note Scouts get as the best ranged weapon a bow well Marksmen can get long bows or crossbows.
End Result: Scout wins but only by a hair unless Reiklander then they win.
Swordsmen vs N/A
Mercs have this extra unit allowing for them to have a great brawler. The flexibility this offers can’t be underestimated. These guys would counter about equal in a fight to a Totem Warrior. He who gets the charge wins the over all match up. Same WS with the difference in there “skill”
The end result I see here is that though Amazons win many of the individual toss ups I have to say that they only win by a small amount in power when looking at this.
This advantage they lose quick though with the fact that they can hire NO hired swords. This is another strike at there flexibility. Though not one I say is “game breaking” per say but when you get late into a campaign you can pay for 3-4 hired swords so that may make a difference. With Hired Swords taken into account I feel that does balance the two list out for members.
The real reason though I think that in the above Blog that Amazons were viewed as over powered was not there warband size or there strong stats as they really are not.
The standard gear of Amazons is nothing special or great. They have no armour where Mercs do but considering that in standard rules armour is all but useless unless your swimming in cash to splurge it’s not a big deal.
For standard “non rare” stuff the Mercs have the obvious edge.
Amazons have 4 Rare items they can purchase from the start.
I’m going to go down the list of each item and compare it to its relative item (closest comparison).
Amulet of the Moon:
Rare 12, 50gc
-1 to hit with missile weapons, 5+ missile weapon ward save.
Compared to Elven Cloak
Rare 12, 110-160gc
-1 to hit with missile weapons
This has an obvious miss balance. For -60+ gold you get a ward save that is reusable.
The only option is to hike the price of the Amulet of the Moon to balance it.
I have no problem with its low cost for it being purchased at the hero creation but after that a hike is needed as this really is the only armour that Amazons can get.
Say 125gc +2d6x10 = 145-245gc
Claws of the Old Ones:
To compare the two best I think it’s best to make Claws of the Old Ones a “Pair” for this example.
Rare 12, 60gc (for Pair)
+1 strength, Perry, No armour save
Rare 5, 35gc
Pair, Perry, +1 I for climbing
Both give 2 attacks now, CoOO’s are +1 Strength vs FC +1 I climbing. Though this is 2 attacks at +1 Strength so it is better that the CoOO’s are +25gc.
The only other advantage that CoOO’s has then is “no armour save” and considering that few people take armour due to it’s cost this is only a problem in few cases (main heroes). Yes henchmen also have armour but by the time you invest in armour for then the Amazon probably also has gained a +1 Strength giving them effective 6 Strength so no point in that topic.
So unless your using house rules that give armour a boost (to make it used) then I see no reason to say CoOO’s are over powered. If so then they should face a price hike… remember they are rare 12 already.
50gc, Rare 12
Range 24”, S4
No Armour, Accurate.
The most direct comparison would be the Hand Gun… but those suck so would be an unfair comparison. So I am using the Crossbow.
Range 30”, S4
Move & Fire
For double the cost you get Accurate (no penalty for long range), no Armour, and -6” Range. Crossbows can also be thrown on henchmen.
For the direct comparison though removing the Armour part from the Sun Staff I would say the Crossbow wins in its use. Once you get your snipers in place you seldom move and with the longer range and the ability to field more Crossbows there is little balance issue. Both have the same strength and both are going to hit far, though the Sun Staff has less range the move and fire with Accuracy do balance out considering the cost and rarity.
If you are how ever again like CoOO’s going to help armour be of more use then there is reason to up the cost on this weapon.
40gc, Rare 12
Range 12, S4
No Armour, Accuracy, H2H
Dueling Pistols (Brace)
60gc, Rare 10
Range 10, S4
+2 Armour Piercing, Accuracy, H2H, Prepped Shoot.
Direct comparison is Dueling Pistols will be easier to get but more expensive so that isn’t too bad. The Prepped Shoot is negated by the Brace, both have H2H, Range of 2” is not a big deal. Accuracy on Dueling Pistols is better as it is a static +1 to hit even in H2H where the Sun Gauntlet is only for long range. Take into account these are both primarily going to be used in H2H the Accuracy of the Dueling Pistols is even better. You can also fire twice if you so chose with the Dueling Pistols in one turn to take down 2 targets or make sure you take down 1 target faster.
Armour negating is not a huge difference here for them. +2 Armour Piercing w/ Strength 4 means you break through a 4+ at no problem. So unless mounted or using Gromril Armour w/shield the Sun gauntlet is no extra effect.
The +20gc -2 Rarity give -2 Range but a better accuracy and a little more flexibility.
Over all I say a even trade off.
My over all view of this all is that unless your using house rules to boost Armour over the standard rules then Amazons are on par with other warbands with all but one item, Amulet of the Moon witch is vastly under priced.
If using Armour in the game remember these warriors have no armour of there own so it is also something to keep in mind as these weapons are there only real option to open up heavy armoured opponents (no 2 handed weapons, axes, Black Powder) so a serious nerf on there armour piercing weapons leaves them with no means to oppose Armour.
I know I went on and on here. over all I'm looking for opinions on this as I never thought of the Amazons as OP, but rather Under Powered by just a little bit.