“Hey Flagellant,” you say. “Your love of 6th is well known and Ravening Hordes is where our list is found, but only two pages feature Chaos Dwarfs and one of them is the endsheet! What are all these other pages???”
Welcome a the world before army books, my friend! The result of needing to include all your old players (and their models) in your new edition without a profit motive yet in sight. While the lists are simple and lack a lot of the interesting rules and unit options that got fleshed out later there are hidden gems for almost every army that can let you field some really unique lists for 6th edition.
Here’s some of what I think are the most interesting bits for each army in Ravening Hordes. This is by no means a complete list of differences so if something looks interesting, dig into it!
Orcs and Goblins
The options available to this list is staggering, even by greenskin standards. Some stand-outs:
- Halberds! Not available on any units in 6th proper, throw em all over your orcs here
- Classic night goblin netter/clubber combo
- Forest goblins!
- Solo squig hoppers
And finally, there are no choppas. Sure you lose the +1 Strength on the charge, but you can finally benefit from that parry save!
The Rare choices are the obvious stand-out here. 9 options ranging from dwarfs to a simplified Steam Tank. Don’t overlook the Special options though! Lightly armoured greatswords come in at 6 pts/model without a 0-1 restriction, and Kislev Winged Lancers bring a lot of pain for only 16 pts. Also of note is no 0-1 restriction on Knights of the White Wolf.
Your standard Daemons get a big buff here. While you trade a 5+ ward save for a 4+ armour save and lose Daemonic instability (for better or worse), all daemons get to cast spells (aside from bloodletters) and they almost all see increases to WS, I, A, and Ld. Chaos Spawn also get moved to Special for some potential craziness and the Rares are all cavalry. This can make for a very different experience on the table.
These guys go hard with Chaos Armour being available to all Chaos Warriors, not just a single unit of Chosen. Unprecedented for the rest of 6th; this means you can walk around with your whole army with a 2+ sv in close combat for abysmally low points. I honestly wonder if this list is balanced!
Perhaps less exciting but more interesting is the Marauder focus. A marauder hero shows up, as does a marauder chariot, and you can give marauders an additional hand weapon and mounted marauders can take the rarely seen morning star!
Beasts of Chaos
Unfortunately there is very little to recommend about these guys in RH. With the loss of their unique rankable skirmish formation and Ambush they end up as a cheap horde army with Gors going at a modest 5 pts/model. The only real points to note are Gors having access to halberds and great weapons and there’s a 2+ armour save magic item that can be worn by a caster. At least you don’t suffer from Animosity like you would in 5th!
Clanrats are not required to be the bulk of your army, or in your army at all! Though there’s not a lot to replace them with unfortunately. Giant rat packs clock in slightly under their army book points and you can bulk up on packmasters if desired. Giant rants also get to always wrap around similar to Sneaky Gits. They also have access to the Vermin Lord at a much cheaper cost of 475 points without taking a Rare slot!
The loss of the Hierophant rule is double-edged - your general is much tougher than any Liche Priest would be but will probably be in combat similar to the Vampire Counts. More interesting is your chariot changes. While they are still lighter in terms of Toughness they impact with the normal D6 and can have scythes! Also worth noting, Liche Priests cannot cast spells without a magic item from their list, however they have access to up to 10 scrolls each that do not count towards their magic item points limit and cannot be dispelled.
Core infantry are the stars here. Your basic skeleton has access to both heavy armour and halberds, which is even better since VC spells raise a model count instead of a points amount. Ghouls end up pretty really interesting as well - instead of skirmishers and poisoned attacks they are unbreakable so long as they outnumber the enemy!
The benefit to dwarfs is in their slayers - they can include up to two Giant/Dragon/Daemon slayers in every unit and the they don’t count towards your character limit. This alone makes them more powerful than the classic Slayer cult of 6th, allowing you to field max Specials of them (no 0-1 limitation!) with a character (or more) in each, plus the additional backing of artillery and firearms (and more characters). The Organ Gun is also wild, literally counting as 5 light cannons at once. It can just delete units if you manage to get a shot off without a misfire!
Ever wanted a Slann close combat god? Try walking your Level 4 wizard up with 6 attacks at WS5, S5, feeling safe with 8 Wounds on with your 4+ ward save. Also wild is a lack of Saurus cavalry, only skinks on cold ones. Salamanders get a nice bonus moving to Special instead of Rare. Not a lot of differences here, but some pretty funny ones.
High elf archers get a nice bonus in that they can fire in two ranks instead of one in addition to fighting with an extra rank of spears. Also, Lothern Sea Guard are no longer 0-1. The combination can lead to a nasty array of sea guard, ranked 5 across while firing 10 shots, and when charged fight with the third rank. We also get to see the Handmaidens of the Everqueen here, essentially souped up versions of the Sea Guard (but with fantastic old models).
I’m a big fan of mixed weapon formations and the Dark Elves get some fun ones. The City Guard, a unit that does not make an appearance in the army book, lets you create your own little unit of Pirazzo’s with some repeater(!) crossbows in front backed by spears. Corsairs can also take both additional hand weapon and repeater crossbows making for a nasty, if expensive, troop, and the Sea Dragon Cloak gives them an addition +1 armour save in close combat compared to their army book.
Wood Elves end up with a surprisingly infantry-heavy focus. Their only Core choices are Glade Guard and Archers with your spear armed Glade Guard taking the place of the Eternal Guard in the army book. Most everything else ends up as a Special choice. The Rare’s come in with a couple unique points though, one being a chariot that you can mount characters in (2 per rare choice) and the other being a forest focused unit of skirmishers called Waywatchers.
Brettonia gets a different Lance formation with some thematic rules. Instead of ranking 3 across you create a diamond formation, and every model in the unit attacks on the charge instead of just the flanks! Makes for even more attacks, however you lose the possibility for a rank bonus.
And on a broader note, though there are not many unique magic items there are some that do not exist in their later army book.
Hope this inspires you to try out a new list with an old army!