LPG - All About Units

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Intermediate Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(See also Basic Training and Advanced Training.)

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This LPG article is a WIP.

Units have a Leader Model

In short:

  • Leader models tell the unit what to do
  • The Leader is the Unit Commander
  • All other models must be in the Leader's command range ("In formation") to activate normally this turn

Most leader models are equipped in the same way as the grunts in their units and typically have the same stats and rules.

Sometimes they have additional rules attached to them, however. In most instances, the leader model is field promoted when they are killed.

  • If a Leader model is Removed from Play, they do not get field promoted.
  • This means that any special rules or equipment specific to the Leader model are lost.
  • You then choose another model in the unit to be the Unit Commander.
    • This model then determines which models are in formation or not...so choose wisely.

Units Receive Orders

The unit can receive orders from its Leader. Mostly, this is the Press Forward order which allows a unit to run or charge.

There are various other orders specific to particular units, such as Shield Wall. When this is available, you will see the word "Order" in brackets on the unit's card.

Some rules, such as Stationary prevent models from giving orders while others such as Night Howls prevent models in a certain range from giving or receiving orders.

  • In that instance, models that would normally receive orders can only advance and make their basic melee attack.

Grunts and Troopers


All models in a unit are Troopers.


Most models in a unit are Grunts. For example, if you look at a Winter Guard Infantry card, you will see it gives options for Leader and 5/9 Grunts.

The Grunts are the bog standard soldiers in the unit who aren't the Leader.

When is a Trooper not a Grunt?

  • Named character models in a unit.
    • There are plenty of character units like this, such as the Black 13th.
    • There are some non-character units, such as the Express Team - The Trollkin is specifically a gunner.
  • When it's a Weapon Attachment.
  • When it's an Officer or part of a Command Attachment.

Why is this important, exactly?

  • Field promotion.
    • If your unit Leader dies and there are no Grunts to Field Promote, you must pick one other model to be the Unit Commander.
      • A Weapon Attachment or Standard could end up being the Unit Commander.
      • Any sweet rules attached to the original Leader model are still gone.
  • Some spell effects, such as Revive only bring Grunts back into play.
    • You can't bring any models with those sweet rules back into play.


Officers are typically a Command Attachment option for a unit, either by themselves or with another model (such as a Sniper or Standard Bearer).

  • They take over the role of the Unit Commander while the Officer is alive.
    • Models in formation are measured from this model.
    • This model issues the orders.
  • If this model dies, no other model is promoted to be the Officer.
    • The Unit Commander role will go back to the Leader model if he's still in play.
    • Any unused Once Per Game abilities are lost if they had not been used yet.
    • Any orders specific to the Officer are similarly not available.

Granted Abilities vs Tactics

Some Officers will Grant its unit an ability while others will give them Tactics.

  • Rules that are Granted to the unit are lost when the model dies.
  • Rules that are Tactics remain regardless of whether the Officer is alive or not.