The miniatures used to play games of Warhammer are referred to as 'models' in the rules that follow. Models represent a huge variety of troops, ranging from cowardly Goblins and noble Elves, to mighty Dragons. Each model is an individual playing piece with its own skills and capabilities, to reflect all the differences between such warriors, each model has its own characteristics profile.
Characteristics of Models
Warhammer uses nine different statistics or characteristics to describe the various attributes of the different models. All characteristics are rated on a scale from 0 to 10 – they cannot go below 0 or rise above 10.
If certain spells or special rules give an increase or decrease to a model’s Characteristics, then you use the new value for as long as that spells or special rule is in effect. However, this does not apply to weapons of any kind (see Weapon and Armour for more information).
Often called Move, this shows the number of inches a model can move on the battlefield under normal circumstances. For example, a Man with a Move of 4 (M4) can move up to 4" when moving at full rate. A horse moves far faster and therefore has M8.
Weapon Skill (WS)
This defines how accomplished or skilled a warrior is with their weapons, or how determined and vicious a monster is. The higher the score, the more likely the model is to hit an opponent in close combat. An ordinary Man has WS3, whilst a battle-hardened hero might have WS4, WS5 or possibly even higher!
Ballistic Skill (BS)
This shows how accurate a warrior is with ranged weapons such as bows or handguns. The higher this value is, the easier a creature finds it to hit with missile attacks. An ordinary Man has BS3, but a keen-eyed Elf has BS4. Some monsters have natural weapons that can be used at range (they might spit venom, for example) and they often use BS to determine whether they hit or not.
Strength gives a measure of how strong a creature is. An exceptionally puny creature might have a Strength characteristic of 1, while a mighty Giant has S6. Men have S3. Strength tells you how hard a model can hit and how easily it can hurt an opponent it has struck in close combat.
This is a measure of a creature's ability to resist physical damage and pain, and reflects such factors as the resilience of a creature's flesh, hide or skin. The tougher a model is, the better it can withstand an enemy's blows. A normal Man has T3, but a creature such as a Treeman, with tough wooden flesh, has an incredible T6!
This shows how much damage a creature can take before it dies or is so badly hurt that it can't fight any more. Most men and man-sized models have a Wounds characteristic value of 1. Large monsters and mighty heroes are often able to withstand several wounds that would slay a smaller creature, and so have W2, W3, W4 or even more.
This indicates how fast a creature can react. Creatures with a low Initiative score (Orcs, with Initiative 2) are slow and cumbersome, while creatures with a high Initiative score (Elves, with Initiative 5) are quicker and more agile. Humans have Initiative 3. In close combat, Initiative dictates the order in which creatures strike.
This shows the number of times a creature attacks during close combat. Most warriors and creatures have an Attacks value of 1, although some elite troops, monsters or heroes may be able to strike several times and have A2, A3 or more.
Leadership shows how courageous, determined, and self-controlled a model is. A creature with a low value is very unruly or cowardly, to say the least! Men have Ld7, which is average, whilst easily scared Night Goblins have a Leadership value of only 5.
Characteristics of Zero
Some creatures have been given a value of '0' (often shown as a dash: '–') for certain characteristics, which means that they have no ability whatsoever in that skill. This usually applies to creatures unable to use missile weapons, so they have BS0 or BS-, but it might equally well apply to other characteristics too. For example, some creatures or war machines may have no Attacks (A0 or A–).
If any model has a Movement value of 0, it cannot move at all for any reason, unless it has some special rule that allows it to move another way.
If any model has a Weapon Skill of 0 then it is unable to defend itself in close combat, and any blows struck against it will therefore automatically hit.
If at any time a model's Strength, Toughness or Wounds are reduced to 0 or less by magic or a special rule, it is slain and removed from play.