The biggest (really, the only) question you’re faced with early in Warhammer: Chaosbane is what hero (or character or class — whichever word you prefer) to play as. Each hero has their own ability and style, so your choice right at the beginning affects how you approach the game.
We’ll give you the quick and dirty answer to “which hero should I play as” first, then we’ll go into (a lot) more detail about each hero below.
Which hero should I choose?
It’s the first question and it’s going to shape the rest of your game, so we’re going to answer that first, then we’ll dive into each class individually.
- Choose Empire Soldier if you’re new to this type of game and just looking to get comfortable — he’s the easiest to understand and use.
- Choose High-Elf Mage if you want to be a little careful, but you still like throwing fireballs.
- Choose Slayer if you really just want to hit things with axes — you can even heal by killing enemies. Slayer is a powerful class, but there’s still technique to getting the most out of him.
- Choose Wood Elf Scout if you’d like to stay back a little and rain a hail of arrows into your enemies. You have to worry a little bit more about your position in a fight with this class than the others.
An important note here: We played all four classes and can say they are honestly more alike than dissimilar. We didn’t have trouble adapting to any of them. Choose one that you like and that fits your style of play, and go kill some bad guys.
What they all have in common
First, let’s talk about what all four heroes have in common. They all have roughly the same attack power — how much damage they do. They also all have about the same sized pool of health. Both attack power and health stay pretty even across the heroes as you level up (and improve your equipment). No hero has any advantage over the others here.
Sweeping versus directional attacks
The biggest difference in the way the four characters play is what we’re calling sweeping versus directional attacks.
The Empire Soldier and the Slayer have sweeping attacks. They attack with sweeping swings of their weapon, and this tends to damage multiple enemies in a rough semicircle around them.
The High-Elf Mage and the Wood Elf Scout are what we’re calling directional attackers. Their attacks are just as powerful, but they usually hit one enemy at a time, and only right in front of the way they’re facing.
This is the biggest change in the way you have approach combat between the four heroes. The Soldier and the Slayer are most effective right in the middle of a crowd of enemies where they can hit as many baddies as possible with each swing. The Mage and the Scout don’t have to be far from combat, but they are more effective on the edge, so that their straight line attacks can hit the most enemies (or at least pick off baddies sequentially).
The other way to frame the above point would be melee versus ranged combat, but that’s not quite accurate for how Warhammer: Chaosbane plays. The Mage and Scout do have ranged attacks that the Soldier and Slayer don’t, but this is a game of mobs and crowds of dozens of enemies at a time. Your ranged heroes aren’t going to sit back and pick off baddies from a safe distance — every hero will end up (by design) in the middle of a mass of bodies.
The directional versus sweeping contrast is reflected in each hero’s Defense number — how much of a beating they can take. The Soldier and the Slayer have slightly higher defenses than the Mage and the Scout. This means that it’s more efficient to place the Soldier and the Slayer in the middle of a crowd. Keeping the Mage and Scout on the edges of a fight keeps them safer — there are fewer bad guys there to land hits against them.
The four heroes (or characters or classes)
Now that we’ve covered the combat concepts broadly, let’s look at each hero in turn.
Empire Soldier — Konrad Vollen
Konrad Vollen, the Empire Soldier, is a pretty standard sword-and-shield fighter. There’s not a lot to figure out about his fighting style — hit the bad guys with your sword. He can take a lot of abuse and respond in kind.
His Basic Skills, Slash and Incisive Breakthrough, are easy to understand and use — he swings his sword. You can see this in action in the video above.
His Advanced Skills are similarly friendly. Whirling Slash deals a ton of damage to all enemies around you (and improves your chance to block incoming attacks). Shielded Charge and Break Through the Ranks are both straight line charges into or through your enemies. These skills are shown in this order in the video above.
Banner of the Empire is an area buff that can help an entire party. Vollen’s (first available) banner gives a bonus to damage and reduces ability cooldowns as well as their energy cost.
Vollen’s archetype Skill is a Shield Bash. This projects a line of force that has the chance to stun enemies. You can see us using it several times in the video above.
High-Elf Mage — High-Elf Prince Elontir
Prince Elontir is the first ranged (directional) character. He’s not as fragile as you might expect from a caster in this type of game.
His Basic Skills are slightly harder to understand. His most basic attack is the Aqshy Missle, which is a fireball. His other Basic Skill, Arcane Hail, is an area attack that randomly rains down hail (but it looks like blue lightning). It doesn’t do as much damage, but it has the chance to slow down the enemies it hits. You can see both of these attacks in the video above.
Elontir’s Advanced Skills are a lot more fun. Aetheric Orb is a wandering ball of energy that damages any baddies it comes across and ricochets off of walls. It works well as a straight line attack through a crowd, but Elontir’s archetype Skill lets you control its direction — which makes it even better for crowd control. Step Between Worlds teleports him a short distance away, which is great when you’re trying to keep him on the edges of a fight. Blinding Light creates a blast that will clear out enemies around you and slow them down. Breath of Fire lets Elontir, well, breath fire — and that’s just fun. We use all of these (in order) in the video above.
Slayer — Bragi Axebiter
With a name like Axebiter and a class named Slayer, Bragi is a fighter who knows what he’s about.
Bragi’s Basic Skills involve hitting things with axes. Savage Swing is a wide, circular arc, while Fury is a little more directed, but it can ignore armor. Both of these skills are in the video above.
The Slayer’s Advanced Skills are similarly axe-centric, but they have some nuance. Shred is an advancing axe swing that generates health for every enemy you strike. This means you can send Bragi into a crowd of baddies and walk out with more health than you started with. Avenging Charge is a straight line charge that damages anything you run through as you reposition. Strike of the Anvil is a leaping, plunging attack that deals massive damage. We use all of these skills in the video above.
Bragi also has an area of effect buff. Last Bastion gives everyone nearby a health boost and generates energy and rage.
Wood Elf Scout — Elessa
It’s tempting to think of an archer class as purely ranged and delicate. Elessa is neither of those things. She’s got a lower defense than the others, but she can still take her lumps. And her bow is more like a machine gun than a precision weapon.
Elessa’s Basic Skills, Sureflight Arrow and Master Archer, both send a stream of arrows at her enemies. Sureflight Arrow even bounces off and continues damaging additional baddies. You can see both of these skills in the video above.
Her Advanced Skills make the Scout class even more versatile. Elven Shot fires a shotgun-like blast of arrows in a wide arc in front of her. Spinning Blades launches a bladed weapon in a straight line away from you that will bounce off of walls, damaging enemies the whole time. Spiral Cut launches a spinning dagger that circles you (or, rather, the point where you launched it), hitting enemies multiple times. Call of the Spirits lets Elessa Summon in a Dryad that fights at your side. We use each of these skills in the video above.