The studio picture of the Legion of Everblight Hex Hunters unit has just been released, showing the full unit of these sorcerous elves, minus UA whose existence was spoiled earlier last month. I’m not a vest man myself, but the biker mages aren’t bad overall.
But they do bring up one aspect of PP’s unit design that came up in discussion at the FLGS during the last tournament – the unique non-leader. We were discussing Idrians at the time as one of the biggest offenders, but the Hex Hunters here are the same way. Looking at the unit, we see four sculpts that are duplicated and two unique poses.
Two? I’m not against variety, but why the second unique pose? Why not just one unique pose so the leader is obvious? In general it’s possible to figure out who it’s ‘supposed’ to be by looking at the packaging and/or the book the model appears in, but it seems to me that there’s no real benefit in the second unique pose, plus it costs PP more since it’s an extra sculpt to commission.
I’ve played quite a few games where after deployment my opponent has pointed out which model is the leader of his unit, indicating a sculpt other than the one that actually fills that role. On a few rare unfortunate cases (mostly MkI) after I eliminated the leader sculpt mid-game I was informed that the casualty wasn’t the sculpt that the player used as the leader.
In general unless it’s a winner-bracket tournament match, I’ll let these slide but polite point out the intended leader and ask the player to mention it ahead of time if he’s using a different sculpt. But for my models I try to avoid the mess all together – that’s why I base all of my unit leaders standing on rock outcroppings while the rest of the unit stands on the flocked ‘ground’ of the base.
I’ve seen players who paint their leaders with some sort of visual marking instead, and if done prominently enough that works well too. A thin line might not be sufficient but a different color helmet or cloak will make a model stand out clearly on the battlefield an mark it as a leader model.
Warmachine and Hordes are open-information games. All spells, effects, abilities, and all other characteristics of your models are available to your opponent at any time. So make sure that your opponent knows what models are leading your units. After all time spent discussing which model is which is time you’re not playing!