well the New Zealand blogs were, for a few weeks their, wailing on the special characters of warhammer. I could not see the reasoning myself, as their was only (in my humblest of opinions of course) two characters who were breaking the current game, and one of those was only their because no one wants to spend any points on flaming these days. One Thursdays musings led me to decide to test various special characters to see what was so wrong with them. So first to face off on the battlefield were the new and diminutive characters of the Orc & Goblins book, Snagla Grobspit and Gittila the Hunter.
Points Cost:Gittila: At 110 points for a special character he is definitely in the cheep and cheerful category. many state that the need to take a unit of wolf riders offsets this low points cost but I see it as a moot point anyway, you wouldn't run Gittila without a unit of wolf riders would you, that just wouldn't make sense.
Snagla: Coming in slightly higher at 115 points, Gittila seems to have the advantage here. Once more Snagla shares Gittila's need to bring a mob of spider riders with him. Again you wouldn't take one without the other, so there’s no point crying about added points from this.
AbilitiesGittila: Gittila's skill set is made for one thing and one thing only, the death of 1000 cuts. Granting himself and his unit BS 4 and the quick to fire rule is a strong opening for any character, but when seen in the context that this is being added to a unit that already has the fast cavalry rule and a movement of 9" makes Gittila's "Howlerz" an annoying threat at least and a death sentence at best. As Ulda, Gittila's great wolf, allows the unit to re-roll flee or pursue rolls the Howlerz are not too shabby at mopping up other units leftovers as well.
Snagla: Snagla's skill set is made for the polar opposite of Gittila. He is a combat trooper pure and simple. Granting his unit the ambush rule, this though it is a risky ability to use is a great mental game to play on your opponent and might force him to completely redesign their game to avoid a fast unit in their rear. Ambush is not the only bonus to his arsenal, as the unit itself (known as the death creepers) also gain devastating charge, cause fear on the charge and have the hatred (Empire) rule. The last is very circumstantial but as it does not state rider only then on the charge both rider and mount are gaining an extra attack. This makes them more than capable of taking on units other goblin riders would go nowhere near, especially as if played right you will be behind the enemy at this point in time.
Gittila: well not as great here in my opinion. Gittila gets a magic piece of armour and a special bow. Gittila's armour, the Gruntalope skin armour, grants him a 4+ armour (bringing it up to a 3+for mounted) makes him a bit of a tank as goblins go. His Bone Bow is a multiple shot 3 bow, so a longer range than most Goblins can get. However multiple shots does bring his high BS back down a bit, so he didn’t hit quite as often as his unit.
Snagla: Snagla wins the weapon wars here quite frankly. With the Fangspike and sting of Snagla he has a good chance of bringing down most monsters, and can cause headaches for lightly armored characters. The Sting of Snagla is why I would primarily cast him as a pure combat dude as it is a one shot thrown weapon (though he is S4, so it hits slightly harder than most O&G shooting). With poisoned and D3 wounds it can cause some damage to multi wound creatures. The Fangspike is a hand weapon with the poisoned and D3 wounds ability. Let’s face it; with 3 attacks (4 on the charge) he can make problems for light armour multi wound creatures (like ogres).
Impact on the game
Well to be honest I want to give this to Snagla for a major reason. When it comes to the Orcs and Goblins, it’s really a go big or go home situation, as they are clearly designed to go into combat. In my experience darting round and shooting your opponent won’t allow you to win big (unless you are a dedicated gun line army like some I could mention). You have to be able to break the enemy in close combat if you’re going to get the big points, and the disruption that Snagla can cause combined with his strength in close combat makes him my pick of the better of the two. I know many might disagree but this is my feelings on the matter
So though he is the more expensive (by 5 points undoubtedly) in my opinion Snagla is the better Character overall, though with bad rolls he might not come grace your battlefield at all. When he works he is a better combatant than Gittila and more likely to turn a combat in your favor. Sure Ulda can turn a route into a massacre but for sheer damage potential I would much prefer the king of the gribbles to the wolf lord any day