It’s been almost a year since I completed the last version of the Hobgoblin book and I was thinking of revisiting the issue of how they coud be reinterpreted to work within both Orc and Chaos Dwarf armies without stepping on any pre-existing toes while having potential as an all-Hobgoblin force.
My first idea is to have the Hobgoblins handle animosity differently than other greenskins do. They’ll be the tactical members of the army, so they aren’t going to be charging towards any enemy models. The best alternative I’ve come up with for your Waagh! rolls of 6 is the unit getting a +1 to hit. Since I’m envisioning primarily archer units for them, this should be quite useful.
In terms of Lords and Heroes, a standard military version of each would be obvious. Obiously they could take 2 hand weapons, spears, mounts, bows and heavy armor, but perhaps to make them unique they can make their weapons Poison for a small upgrade fee without needing to take magic weapons.
On the magic side, perhaps they could go without a Magic Lord which can be left in the hands of the Chaos Dwarfs, Orc & Goblins, but can take a Magic Hero who uses generic Shadows and Beasts magic. This would allow the player to get a basic amount of magic and a dispell scroll in their army while not allowing the Hobgoblin wizards to displace the Chaos Dwarf or Orc & Goblin ones.
Basic Hobgoblin footsloggers just wouldn’t exist. Footsloggers would either be Archers or Scouts (Sneaky Gits). Both Chaos Dwarfs and Orcs & Goblins have footslogging melee well covered. While Hobgoblin Archers would compete with Arrer Boys, the Hobgoblins would be a bit cheaper to start with (say 5pts/model) however they could take long bows for +2pts/model. This will give the person creating the army the choice of two 7pt/model archer units, one with better toughness and leadership and one with better range.
Within a Chaos Dwarf army, they’d work out fine. Goblins could be moved up to core allowing them to take up the role of catching arrows while the Hobgoblin units deal out the ranged attacks.
Scouts is something neither army currently has, so bumping the Sneaky Gits to Scouts would allow them to do something neither army can do now. It also covers a major weakness in both which is a method for dealing with war machines and monsters. But having a scouting unit with poisoned attacks, you can get the jump on the enemies nasty units with these guys and take them down early-- or at least force them to concentrate on the Sneaky Gits.
Just like the Hogoblins on foot, the Hobgoblin Wolfriders could start with bows allowing them to avoid clashing with the Goblin Wolfriders. By making them default archers and then allowing them to take spears and shields to upgrade into medium cavarly, they inherantly fulfill a role that Bull Centaurs, Orc Boarriders and Goblin Wolfriders can’t fill-- mobile shooters.
Of course, I still think Hobhounds are a definate must. Straight wolf-stats with a -1 Move, +1 Strength and -1 Initiative at 8pts a piece led by a Beastmaster with Ld of 6 would make for a cheap, easily destroyed unit-- but one that if ignored has enough punch to make enemies feel the pinch for doing so.
For the Special slot version of the Hobgoblin Wolfriders, in order to avoid clashing with the Boarriders or the Bull Centaurs which are both heavy-damage, low-armored cavarly, Hobgoblin Cataphracts would flip that and have heavy armor, shields and spears with no upgrade to lances. This means they’ll only do S4 attacks on the charge, but they’ll have a 3+ save. Some kind of ability to allow them to hit and run might also make them interesting.
And for the Rare Slot, a super heavy and nasty cavarly unit that relies on having big mounts would fill the need. I still think it would be best to stick with Hobgoblins mounted on Tigers or something that has the stats of the Ogre Kingdom’s Sabretusks.
I’m thinking War Machines can be dropped, no more need for Hobgoblin Bolt Throwers because Goblins have Bolt Throwers and Catapults and Chaos Dwarfs ought to have a nice selection of War Machines on their own.