Imperial Zoo warhammer 8th edition empire army book
There is but one imperial zoo in the whole of the empire this is situated in the capital Altorf. Amongst the creatures kept here are some of the most fearsome, terrifying and dangerous beasts in the warhammer world. The imperial zoo also has a second function it is an excellent place to "stable" the few creatures which can be ridden or led into battle against the all too numerous foes of the empire. Such is the success of the imperial zoo that they have breed an imperial griffon stronger and larger then those found in the wilds.
Even though the imperial zoo contains many of these creatures elector counts and other rich nobles may have their own imperial griffon or pegasus bought and raised at great expense and risk. Imperial griffons in particular are renown for their loyalty to their riders though this is only earned over a long and danger fraught period of training.
Imperial griffons are a mount choice for elector counts and wizard lords with the lore of beasts, Karl Franz also rides a griffon called deathclaw who has enhanced stats (basically an extra attack) and the loyal beast special rule.
Imperial griffons boast a better stat line then those of other armies griffons (at present) with a mighty strength of 6, they also have two fairly unique upgrades (discounting storm of magic) bloodroar and two heads. Bloodroar means enemies must take fear and terror tests with an extra dice and discard the highest making the enemy more likely to fail fear and terror tests. Two heads grants the griffon an extra head and an extra attack which is +1 to hit large targets.
For a monster the griffon is fast with a high strength, combined with the riders attacks this can often finish a foe before they have chance to retaliate. Although toughness 5 the griffon has no save of any kind often making the griffon a more tempting target then the rider and vulnerable to higher strength shooting, magic missiles and poison.
The imperial griffon ridden by a battle wizard lord with beasts can be an interesting choice when combined with the lore of beasts spells savage beasts of horros and wyssan's wildform. Magic items such as van horstmann's speculum and sword of anti heroes can enhance this even further. This can turn the wizard lord in to quite the combat monster especially in challenges and can take an unwary foe by surprise.
The empire has but one dragon held appropriately at the imperial zoo, only one man in the entire empire has had the force of will and nerve to ride it into battle and that is the emperor himself, Karl Franz. Like all dragons the imperial dragon boasts an impressive stat line causes terror has a scaly skin save and a fiery breath weapon. The scaly skin save makes it much more resilient then an imperial griffon though of course this comes at a higher cost in points.
As the imperial dragon can only be ridden my Karl Franz, foes of the empire must face the two of these potent foes together. If the emperor is wielding ghal maraz (the hammer of sigmar) this can be a terrifying foe to face in battle and few foes can fight them on close to even terms. The downside is of course that such combat prowess comes at a high points cost and will make it the enemys main target.
An imperial pegasus is a mount option for an elector count, battle wizard lord and probably most useful of all a captain of the empire (Karl franz being the emperor can of course also ride one). The major advantage of the pegasus is of course that it has the ability to fly enabling it to move swiftly across the battlefield to deal with threats or able to rapidly retreat when threaten.
Imperial pegasus have 2 unique upgrades available to them iron hard hooves and swift as the wind. Iron hard hooves allows them to re roll to wound with their stomp attack, swift as the wind allows them to re roll 1's whilst charging giving them more chance of completing the charge.
One of the side benefits is that a pegasus is monstrous cavalry meaning they can join units of demigryph knights and stay safe from being snipe with warmachines and templates (though a pegasus is not as ferocious a fighter as a demigryph).
All in all a pegasus is a cheap mount choice that greatly increases a characters flexibility be they a wizard for casting spells or a captain hunting war machines and enemy wizards.