When it comes to hiring troop types, you can’t go wrong with goblin wolf riders.
First of all, they’re cheap -15 gp/month compared to 30 gp/month for light calvary and 60 gp/month for heavy calvary.
Second of all, they’re crazy powerful. The goblins themselves aren’t too great (1-1 HD), but their wolves are 4 HD monsters, making them tougher than even heavy war horses (although they only get 1 attack versus 2 for war horses).
So they’re pretty nasty even with standard ACKS rules, but it’s even worse with the DoW manuscript. Let’s compare the stat lines of heavy calvary (3,600 gp/month) vs goblin wolf riders (900 gp/month).
60 Heavy Cavalry 3/6/9 FM 6 1-1 6 +2 2 lance & shield 11+
Charge: 3 hooves 8+ -
60 Wolf Riders 2/5/7 IM 3 5 20 0 2 spear and shield 10+
Charge: 4 bite 6+ -
The humans have better organization, being formed mounted versus irregular mounted, are faster, better morale and better AC. However, the wolf riders get more attacks and have more than 3x the UHP of the human calvary. Only bugbear heavy infantry (and hobgoblin wolf riders) are tougher.
This strikes me as mechanically unsatisfactory (I’m obviously ignoring all the problems that come with relying on chaotic goblins in your army). The basic problem seems to stem from the fact in how Unit Hit Dice and HP are calculated.
Unit Hit Dice Mount will fight without its rider: Sum of rider and mount’s HD
Mount will flee without its rider: Rider’s HD
Unit Hit Points* Mount will fight without its rider: (Unit HD) x (number of cavalry) / 15
Mount will flee without its rider: 2 x (Unit HD) x (number of cavalry) / 15
If we change the Unit HD for mounts that will fight without its rider to the AVERAGE of rider and mount’s HD, then our goblins will look like this.
60 Wolf Riders 2/5/7 IM 3 5 11 0 2 spear and shield 10+
Charge: 4 bite 6+ -
This unit is still a terror, having almost twice the HP as the heavy calvary and a bargain (costing 1/4 the amount), but seems to be less of an outlier.
Thoughts, suggestions, plans for the Great Goblin Empire?