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Empire FAQ and Abbreviations - updated 10/12/07

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Firstly, special mention must go out to GT and wisenheimer, for writing up the original and new FAQ / abbreviations list, as well as everyone else who contributed.

Here is a list of commonly asked questions on the forum regarding the Empire (and its foes).  This FAQ listing will be updated when we come across answers to those sticky questions that are asked.

GW's FAQ's

Here is a link to GW's 7th ed FAQ page.

Q: What does the abbreviation * mean?
A: Here's a list of most commonly used abbreviations:

Real World Abbreviations

GW - Games Workshop
WD - White Dwarf
OOP - Out of Production
WAAC - Win at all costs
OTT - Over the top, excessive in some way
RAW - Rules as Written
LGS/FLGS - Friendly local gaming store
WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get - meaning that a model is suitably represented on the tabletop compared to the stats (and equipment) that it sports on paper.
IRL - In Real Life
GT - Grand Tournament
RTT - Rogue Trader Tournament
RT - Rogue Trader (Tournament)
GS - Green Stuff

General Warhammer Abbreviations

WHFB/WFB - Warhammer Fantasy Battle
BRB - The Big Red Book or the Warhammer rule book
AB - Army Book

Scroll Caddie - lv1 Wizard with the sole purpose of carrying 2 dispel scrolls for magic defence.
CP - Casting Pool
DP - Dispel Pool
DD - Dispel Dice
DS - Dispel Scroll
RiP - Remains in Play (depending on context)

BSB - Battle Standard Bearer
RnF - Rank and File
HW - Hand Weapon
HW+S - Hand Weapon and Shield
HtH/H2H - Hand to Hand (the combat phase)
AHW, EHW - Additional / Extra Hand Weapon
HB - Halberd
GW - Great Weapon
HG - Handgun
XBow - Crossbow
LA - Light Armour
HA - Heavy Armour
FPA - Full Plate Armour
SH - Shield
CA - Chaos Armour
WH - Warhorse
BWH - Barded Warhorse

FC - Full Command
Nilla - Plain, without upgrades
Muso/mus - Musician
STD, SB - Standard Bearer
BT - Bolt Thrower
AS - Armor Save
WS - Ward Save
WB - War Banner
ItP - Immune to Psychology
CR - Combat Resolution
ASF - Always Strike First

DoW - Dogs of War
RoR - Regiment of Renown

Gunline - Imperial or Dwarf Army with lots and lots of shooters and maxed out artillery (usually 6 pieces)

--- Quote ---A Gunline is not a piece of your army - it is your army.  Something like an army composed of nothing but Missile troops, WarMachines, Wizards and perhaps Warrior Priests and Steam Tanks.
--- End quote ---
SAD - Shooty Army of Death or Skaven Army of Doom
MSU - Minimum Sized Units or Multiple Shooty Units, depending on context. Used most often by DE and OK.

SoC - Storm of Chaos (2004? campaign)
NC - Nemesis Crown (2007 campaign)

Empire Specific Abbreviations

Special Characters
KF - Karl Franz
KH - Kurt Helborg
BG - Balthazar Gelt
LH - Luthor Huss

AL - Arch Lector
GotE - General of the Empire EC: Elector count
EC - Elector Count
TGM/GM - Templar Grand Master
WL - Wizard Lord
BSB - Battle Standard Bearer
Captasus - Captain on Pegasus
Huntasus - Captasus dedicated to mage hunting.
Caskesus/Casketsus/Casketus – Captain on Pegasus with Aldreds Casket of Sorcery
WP - Warrior Priest
ME - Master Engineer
BW - Battle Wizard
Scroll Caddy - Level 1 (or 2) Wizard with 2 Dispel Scrolls

RF - Runefang
MoH - Mace of Helstrum
HoJ - Hammer of Judgement
SoM/SoP/SoS/SoB/SoJ - Sword of: might/power/striking/battle/justice
AoMI - Armour of Meteoric Iron
HR - Holy Relic
WC - White Cloak
RoP - Rod of Power
SoD - Seal of Destruction
Hexstaff - extra arcane magic item that the Empire received for being on the winning side of the Albion campaign
VHS - Van Horstmann's Speculum
LoV - Laurels of Victory
IoM - Icon of Magnus
DR - Doomfire Ring
RoV - Ring of Volans
WA - War Altar
HLR - Hochland Long Rifle
RHG - Repeater Handgun
RP - Repeater Pistol
GL - Grenade Launcher
PB - Pigeon Bombs

HB - Halberdiers
FC - Free Company
Nilla Knights - A unit of plain Knights, unnamed and without upgrades.
KoWW/WW - Knights of the White Wolf
IC - Inner Circle (upgrade for knights)
OR - Outriders
GS - Greatswords
Flaggies - Flagellants
GC - Great Cannon
HVG or HBVG - Helblaster Volley Gun
HRB - Helstorm Rocket Battery
ST/Stank - Steam Tank

AoM - Army of Middenheim
CoU - Cult of Ulric
EiN - The End is Nigh (Flagellants Special Rule)

Characters & Equipment

Q: When the Arch Lector dies, does the War Altar get removed as well?
A: No. Strangely enough, it stays under your control.

Q: Can an Arch Lector have 2 remains in play prayers going at the same time.
A: Short answer, no.  GW have not FAQ'd this, and it may not require it. Here is our discussion on the subject.

Q: Does using the War Altars bound spell remove any remains in play prayers the Arch Lector cast?
A: Short answer, no.  GW have not FAQ'd this, and it may not require it. Our discussion on the subject is integrated with the above FAQ.

Q: What Weapon Skill do you use when attacking the War Altar?
A: You use the WS of the steeds pulling the chariot (if you are attacking the chariot). If you are attacking the Arch Lector, you use his. This is in the BRB.
Here is our discussion on the subject

Q: What is 'Fiery Demagogue'?
A: Fiery Demagogue is a special rule or ability for Luthor Huss that GW playtested, but removed from his rules. However they missed it in the proof reading for the final release of the New Empire Book. It does not mean anything.

Q: Does a Warrior Priest’s Hatred affect his mount, and the mounts of a unit he is in?
A: Yes. BRB p79. Here is our discussion on the subject.

Q: Does a Warrior Priest's Hatred or Prayers affect the detachments for the unit he is in?
A: No, detachments are not affected.

Q: Can a prayer be cast on a friendly monstrous mount?
A: No. Prayers can only be cast on characters or unit champions.

Q: Can the re-rolls from the Hammer of Sigmar prayer be used to re-roll the impact hits or horse attacks from the War Altar?
A: No. "Because the rider and mount can be hit separately, any saves and other special rules of the character (including those from magic items, spells, etc.) are not passed to it mount, and viceversa." (GW FAQ)
Here is our recent discussion on the subject.

Q: Can Empire characters join a Dogs of War unit, or Regiment of Renown?
A: Short answer, Yes - due to a lack of rules / restriction. GW have not FAQ'd this, and it may not require it. Here is our discussion on the subject, however if you perform a search, you will find many discussions.

Q: Can a wizard use Hammer of Sigmar to re-roll failed to wound rolls on spells?
A: Short Answer, yes. GW have not FAQ'd this, and it may or may not require it. Here is our discussion on the subject.

Q: Can Hammer of Sigmar be cast on a character or champion with a missile weapon ?
A: Yes, it is particularly effective on an Outrider champion.

Q: What about an Engineer with the Helblaster Volley Gun?
A: There are 2 solutions to this:
    1/ Yes, the Engineer is 'firing' it as he would any other weapon.
    2/ No, the machine has a crew, and it is the machine rolling to hit, not the engineer directly.
GW have not FAQ'd this. Here is our discussion on the subject.

Q: What about an Engineer with Pigeon Bombs?
A: There are 3 solutions to this:
    1/ Yes, the Engineer is 'firing' it as he would any other weapon.
    2/ No, however he can reroll failed partial hits for the template.
    3/ No, the roll for Pigeon bombs is not a roll to hit per se.
GW have not FAQ'd this. Our discussion on the subject is integrated with the above FAQ.

Q: Can an Engineer stand and shoot with Pigeons?
A: Yes. Here is our discussion.

Q: Can an Engineer take magic items?
A: No. The Master Engineer is no longer allowed to take magic items, as exhibited in his unit entry. His Engineering toys are supposed to compensate for the lack of magic items.

Q: Reading the description of the Hochland Long rifle it says that 'any' target can be chosen. Would this extend to models that are in units engaged in hth if you could draw an unobstructed LOS to them or does the prohibition against picking a target engaged in hth apply to them as well?
A: You cannot shoot enemies engaged in close combat, because the Engineer/Marksman wouldn't risk hitting his comrades. That rule has precedence.
S: Gav Thorpe - Warhammer Design Team

Q: Can enemy magic items and abilities which negate one or more attacks of a model in base to base contact (e.g. Blademaster, Hand of Khaine, Vambraces of the Sun, Cautious Shield, etc.), be used to negate the single S10, D6 wound attack of the Mace of Helstrum?
A: These only reduce the number of Attacks on the profile, and have no effect on special attacks (in this case, the Empire character may have one less Attack, but he simply swaps his remaining attacks for the single S10, D6 wound attack).
S: Gav Thorpe - Warhammer Design Team

Q: Can a unit of Knights led by a Grand Master (making them Immune to Psychology) also benefit from a BSB carrying the Banner of Sigismund (making them stubborn), or a Warrior Priests's Hatred?
A: Yes. BRB p53

Q: How many times may an Empire character armed with the Dragon Bow fire in the Shooting phase?
A. Once.  Unless otherwise mentioned each model can only make one shooting attack in each Shooting phase.  There has been some confusion regarding this item as the unofficial Special Character Valmir Von Raukov on the GW website may fire the Dragon Bow three times in the Shooting phase.  Note however that Von Raukov is allowed to do this due to his "Master Archer" ability and this is not a property of the Dragon Bow.

Q: Can an Empire Wizard use the Lore of Ice?
A: No.

Q: With the magic item the Rod of Power, what magic dice can be saved? Your own Power Dice only, or your own Dispel Dice too, in the opponents magic phase?
A. Both your own Power Dice and Dispel Dice can be saved in the Rod of Power.

Q: Where can I find the rules for the Hexstaff, an "Empire Only" magic item from the Albion campaign?
A: In Warhammer Chronicles 2003

Q: When do I get to measure for using the Crystal Ball?
A: There is no definitive answer for this, however best practise would suggest during your movement phase when moving the wizard carrying the ball. Keep in mind, the usage of the crystal ball is to obtain information on enemy magic items / compositions, not ranges for shooting / charging. Use common sense when measuring for units within 24 inches, there is no need to measure a unit 12 inches away when you clearly can see it is within range.

Core Units

Q: Why doesn't anyone use Halberdiers as Parent Units?
A: Halberdiers are perhaps the weakest troops in the Empire list, though the fluffiest. Their single attack at WS 3 is much inferior to the higher armor save, initiative, and weapon skill of the swordsmen.

Q: Are they any good as detachments?
A: Halberds are decent as detachments. New detachment rules mean they can carry shields, which adds flexibility. They can have close to the killing power of free company, or close to the survivability of swordsmen.

Missile Units
Q: Which are better, Crossbows or Handguns?
A: Each have their own merits. Crossbows have the extra range (meaning closer short range) and Handguns have the extra penetration. Handgunner marksmen also get special weapon upgrades, however generally this decision comes down to personal preference.

Q: Do Empire handguns still have the 'First volley' rule (first round - extra D6 to range)?
A: This was removed in the 7th ed Empire Army book to make more of a choice between Handgunners and Crossbowmen.

Q: When do Empire detachments declare counter-charges and move into contact with the enemy?
A. After the enemy has finished moving ALL the chargers, but before Remaining Moves, the Detachment can declare a counter-charge and move into contact with the enemy.

Q: Can a Parent Unit have a detachment(s) of the same troop type?  For example could a unit of 10 handgunners take 2 detachments of 5 handgunners?
A. Yes. While the introduction to the detachment rules seems to indicate that detachments are armed differently than the parent units, no where in the actual detachment rules does it state that the detachments must be armed differently than the parent.

Q: Do Detachments for a Greatsword unit count towards Core or Special categories with respect to unit composition?
A: Core. The fact thay they are fielded as detachments doesn't change anything (Note: this does not mean they contribute to minimum amount of core units)

Q: Can I buy extra equipment for my detachments?
A: Yes. The rule restricting extra equipment for detachments has been removed with the 7th edition Empire army book.

Q: What are the best troop choices for combat detachments? What formation should they be?
A: Free Company are good at dishing out damage, so are best used in a wide and shallow formation such as 5x2. Swordsmen are best used to deny enemy kills, so benefit from a narrow and deep formation, such as 3x3. As mentioned above, Halberdiers give good flexibility, and so the best formation would match the role you choose for them.

Q: What are 3x3 detachments? I thought the minimum frontage for a detachment needed to be 4?
A: The minimum frontage of detachments has been taken away. 3x3 size detachments are a maneuveourable block which makes counter charging easier, and enemy charges into detachments harder.

Q: A detachment can use the parent units leadership for leadership tests. If the Parent unit is with range of the General, can this leadership be transferred on to the detachment when they are not in range? Same question for BSB purposes?
A: No. This is a change from 6th edition Empire. Here is a recent discussion on the subject.

Q: Can a parent unit have a detachment of Huntsmen? What are the benefits?
A: Yes, a parent unit can have a detachment of Huntsmen, however there are no benefits to this at all. The detachment rules explicitly state that a detachment MUST be placed when a parent unit is, and the Scout rules state that they MUST be placed after all other deployments.

Special Units

Q: How many Shots does a group of 5 Pistoliers with Marksman Champion wielding a Repeater Pistol get?
A: Each individual Pistolier gets two each for a total of 8 hitting at BS3. The Champion gets 3 for his repeater pistol, and 1 for his regular pistol hitting at BS4. 12 S4, -2 AS shots.

Q: How many attacks do pistoliers get in combat?
A: The fusilade rule has been removed, and according to the BRB, 2 hand weapons cannot be used when mounted. Pistol rules for close combat are also clear. So a unit of pistoliers will get 1 attack each at S3, and each of their mounts will get 1 attack each at S3.

Q: Is the Repeater Pistol a Pistol for rules purposes? It's rules do not explicitly state it is a pistol, so does it have long range, etc.?
A: It is a pistol. It is in the name of the item.
GW have not FAQ'd this, and it may not require it. Here is more information on our discussion.

Q: Can outriders move and fire because they are fast cavalry?
A: No. The rules for Repeater Handguns trump the fast cavalry rule. If the champion has an appropriate weapon (such as Repeater Pistol), he can however.

Rare Units

Q: In close combat rounds after the first, if I martyr flagellants, do I gain any benefit from hatred?
A: Short answer, No. GW have not FAQ'd this, and it may not require it. Here is our discussion on the subject.

Q: Does martyring flagellants affect your rank bonus, or is rank bonus worked out first, and then martyrs removed?
A: No, martyring flagellants does not affect the units rank bonus (until the subsequent round). GW have not FAQ'd this, and it may not require it. Here is our discussion on the subject.

Q: Do Flagellants get the bonus from martyr when they overrun into an ongoing close combat?
A: Not yet looked up / discussed...

Gryphon Legion
Q: Can the Gryphon Legion when using the 'Mercenaries' Special Rule take a Magic Standard from the Empire Magic Items list?
A: Yes. They can take any banner up to 50pts with the exception of banners restricted to Knightly Orders only.

Steam Tank
Q: Does a Steam Tank get to attack in the enemy turn?
A: No. It can only generate steam points in your turn, therefore cannot attack. The engineer can stand and shoot however.

Q: Can a Steam Tank pursue or overrun?
A: No.

Q: What does the Brass Orb do to the Steam Tank?
A: There are 3 possible outcomes from our discussions.
    1/ Takes 3D6 wounds (saves as normal)
    2/ Ignored because there is no given strength and rules are written poorly
    3/ Initiative test is failed, so Steam Tank destroyed
This issue is yet to be FAQ'd by GW. Here are our discussion on the subject.

Q: What does the Screaming Bell do to the Steam Tank?
A: There are 2 possible outcomes from our discussions.
    1/ Takes 4D6 wounds (saves as normal)
    2/ Ignored because it does not have structural hit points
The issues is yet to be FAQ'd by GW. Here is our discussion on the subject (starts on the end of the first page)

Q: How does the Hand of Dust work on the Steam Tank?
A: There are 2 possible outcomes
    1/ Steam Tank is destroyed
    2/ Has no affect - as per the rule requiring a given strength value
The issue is yet to be FAQ'd by GW. Here is our discussion on the subject.

Q: Do Bretonnian Defensive Stakes stop Steam Tank Impact hits, as the Steam Tank rules suggest it ignores all obstacles?
A: Yes. The rules for Defensive stakes explicitly state that charge bonuses (including impact hits) are not allowed, and does not mention at all Defensive Stakes being classed as an 'Obstacle'.

Q: Does the Bretonnian 'Virtue of Heroism' allow Killing Blow against the Steam Tank?
A: Yes. There are no restrictions in the BRB in regards to Killing Blow against War Machines.

Q: Do the Steam Tanks Impact Hits from Grinding affect all units in combat with it, or just one?
A: There is no clear answer on the subject, however rules subtly suggest that it may be all units in combat with it.
Here is our recent discussion on the topic.

Dogs of War

Q: Are Dogs of War still legal in our list, even though they are not in our Army Book?
A: The DoW PDF is still current and on the GW website, until a new DoW document is released it counts as an army book irrespective of the original place of print, be it chronicles or annuals. GW have already said that all army books are valid until replaced by a new version. The option as discussed countless times on the forum, was removed from the Army Books because DoW are not legal in any GW run event, not because you cannot use them in any non GW event or friendly game. It is horribly confusing but it has already been clarrified by Allesso that DoW are part of the WHFB world and that the PDF on the GW website stating which troops may be used by which armies, complete with the slot they take up for both RoR and DoW, remains valid.
Here and here are our recent discussions on the subject.

Q: Where can I find the rules for including Ogres (such as Bulls and Ironguts) in my Empire Army?
A: The rules for these specific types of Ogres are detailed in the Ogre Kingdoms Armybook. There is also an Ogre unit choice in the Dogs of War List. Both are legal and valid options.

Q: Where can I find the rules for Johann and Wilhelm - the DoW Witchhunters?
A: They are in the 2002 Annual. Here is a link to some discussion about them.

Storm of Chaos

Q: Where can I find the rules for the Warrior Priest of Ulric?
A: UK WD279, US WD279, AUS WD281 or the Annual/Chronicles 2004

Q: Where can I find the Cult of Ulric army list?
A: UK WD 289, US WD 280, AUS WD 282, or On the GW website

Q: Where can I find the Army of Middenland army list?
A: On the GW website


--- Quote from: Storm of Chaos FAQ ---Army of Middenland:

Q: Do I choose exactly when I want to use the Shard of Skolll? Or is it assumed to always be in use and therefore can be spent at any time?
A: You must specify that you are using the Shard of Skoll, so you can choose when to use it.

Q: It says that the Hunt Master cannot be singled out by missile fire, yet isn’t he quite bigger (a man on a horse) than the rest of the unit (hounds)?
A: The Hunt Master cannot be singled out as he is regarded as the same size (i.e., on a cavalry base) as the hounds.

Q: The Cloak of Anraheir says that the bearer causes Fear in Minotaurs. Minotaurs would normally be immune to Fear as they themselves cause Fear, so how does work?
A: The bearer of the Cloak causes Fear to Minotaurs, even though they would normally be immune to Fear.

Q: Although Crossbowmen and Handgunners are Rare units, can they be taken as detachments for Core units?
A: No. They can only be taken as parent units, not as detachments at all.

--- End quote ---

If you have any additions to this list, please post them here, however be aware that I will update the main post and remove the extra posts to keep this thread simple and easy to read.

- Updated Virtue of Heroism
- Updated Empire Characters and Dogs of War
- Updated Gryphon Legion and Magic Standards
- Updated Weapon Skill vs the War Altar

Q: Does the Bretonnian 'Virtue of Heroism' allow Killing Blow against the Steam Tank?
A: Yes. There are no restrictions in the BRB in regards to Killing Blow against War Machines.

Killing Blows are restricted to unit stregth 2 creatures. And cannot harm the steamtank.

The Virtue of Heroism gives the Bretonnian hero the killing blow ability for large targets. There are arguably no Large Targets in the game that have US < 2.


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