Night Goblins (Fanatics) is a Greenskins melee infantry unit in Total War: Warhammer. Night Goblins Fanatics are highly efficient killers and the ball and chain they wield sees to that!
Unlocked with: Black Orc Barracks
Night Goblins are well suited to their subterranean existence. They range in size, but many are on the stunted side, which better enables the spiteful creatures to move quickly through the tight cavernways below ground. Night Goblins are easily marked out from other Greenskins as they wear long, dark, hooded cloaks, in part to blend in with the poorly lit tunnels but mostly to protect themselves from the hated sunlight should they venture above ground. Given a choice, Night Goblins only leave their underground lairs at night or when the sun is shrouded by cloud or gloomspell. When they do emerge, Night Goblins launch deadly raids, ambush travelers in mountain passes, and commit countless other malicious deeds. They are particular enemies of the Dwarfs, and the two races share a long history of bitter battles on mountainous peaks and below ground.
- ▲ Poison Attacks: The poisonous attacks of this unit weaken the target's speed and damage and/or apply the Poison! debuff.
- ▼ Poor Leadership: This unit suffers from poor leadership and will easily rout. Keep its flanks secure and your Lord or other encouraging units nearby.
- ▲ Special Ranged Weapon: This unit has a special missile attack with limited ammunition, which can be very useful when initiating attacks.
- ▲ Shielded: Shields have a chance of blocking arrows, bolts, rifle shots and similar small arms fire - but only in a forward facing arc.
The special ranged weapon referred to above is the active ability Spinning Loons, which is where the fanatics are released at the enemy lines.
While their fighting stats are mediocre, goblin fanatics possess a powerful active ability (spinning loons) which is a cone-shaped AOE spell with 3 uses per battle. An army of mixed night goblin fanatic infantry and archers can possess 40+ castings of this ability which is devastating to any formation army but perhaps weaker vs single entity monsters and heroes.
The Fanatic cone ability is an extremely effective weapon for the cost it demands. Although it can be used in a forward-facing arc, their is a technique which can multiply the damage potential of the ability, essentially decimating most troops to about 2/3 of their health in a single attack. By making your Goblins form a long straight line across the battlefield, when the enemy engages your fanatics and clumps up, use the ability not facing in a forward arc, but facing the side of the unit, aiming down the line of enemy infantry. What happens is that, since they are all clumped up in a straight line, the fanatics deal tremendous damage not only for the first unit but also the units further down the line. Having several Fanatic units all line in a similar way can deal huge damage to enemy units. Units that are in more tight formations, like Dwarfs and High Elves, suffer greatly from this, as the fanatics AOE can hit more models at a time. Since it is a special ability, the damage it does ignores Melee defense and armor to an extent, making even heavily-armored units susceptible to its swirling loonies.