The problem with a game that has 15 armies is that it takes an age to go through them all. Splitting them up also means I’m not taking up the entire first and second pages of the site with a single article. I think the other authors like a bit of exposure some times. So it is that I present you all with part 3 of our look at the Warhammer armies and how they have changed for 8th edition, there will be one final part following this one and by then we’ll have covered all the armies.
Without further ado, let’s get on with things.
One of the weakest of books from the last edition got a pretty significant boost, now, I’m not saying that Ogres are going to be bull-charging their way into the top-tier and taking tournament crowns, but when you see an army of them staring at you across the table you won’t be thinking of the free win.
The changes to monstrous infantry means you only need 3 wide to form a rank and anything in the rank behind contributes up to 3 attacks. Therefore a normal unit of say 6 Ogres is now going to be getting 18 attacks if they don’t have a unit Champion. Their fear is now less scary as there is no autobreaking but then Ogres didn’t normally outnumber their foes in the first place. Add in the impact hits from a bull-charge and the Stomp attack they get then your bog standard Ogres are not pretty beefy in combat. Their diminutive cousins the Gnoblars are also great as tarpits, they are dirt cheap and are likely to benefit from being deployed as a Horde to get lots of attacks while remaining steadfast and tying up your opponent until you can get a charge off with Bulls, Man-Eaters or whatever.
If your army has been gathering dust while something else has been taking up your playtime then now may be the time to reconnect with your inner Ogre and slap some unsuspecting opponents around.
Orcs and Goblins
I don’t know what it is about the letter O but under 7th edition rules both of the books fated to start with it have been the most underpowered of all the army books. This isn’t just my own opinion but one I have seen spread around the online Warhammer community. However, just like the Ogres before them, while Orcs do get better in this edition they still face the problems that they did earlier. One thing that Orcs have always been good at is producing a ton of infantry, they are not the best at it but can do it well enough. Big infantry is the hallmark of 8th edition so Orcs have that one covered. They still have a pretty decent spell list and their own miscast table to boot, this saves them from some of the nastiness in the rulebook. Cheap lords mean you can kit out some really good fighty characters and still take some magic ability without compromising your list.
Where things get really good is when you look a Night Goblins. These guys had a ton of options before, with Netters and such like, give them spears and drop them into a Horde formation and you have 4 ranks of attacks coming your way from a very cheap unit. Add in the bat-poop craziness of Fanatics too and you have some really funky, not to mention cheap, units that can wreak havoc. Bolt Throwers and Stone Throwers can help soften the enemy on the approach too, but big blocks of Goblins are going to be big feature I think. Still not the best army out there but Orc players should no longer consider themselves bottom of the pile.
I am sure no one has forgotten how awesome the new Skaven book was when it was released towards the end of 7th, well, they have only gotten better in the new rules. While Orcs can spam infantry well, Skaven do it even better, with a greater focus on large blocks of foot soldiers Skaven have gone straight to the top tier of armies as they can put more feet (well, claws) on the ground than any other army out there. While the ratmen benefited from outnumbering their foes in the past when they do it now they are truly formidable, stubborn on leadership 10 provided they have the ranks for Strength in Numbers and are close to a Warlord is going to make them tough to shift. Disposable units of slaves are even more disposable and are likely to make an even bigger boom when they are broken. Skaven characters are cheap and you can kit out a Warlord and still have a Grey Seer should you want. It may be a tight squeeze if you are one of the Screaming Bell crowd but larger point games play even more into Skaven hands. The new casting rules make a lot of their spells easier to cast and you will normally have the wounds to soak up casualties if your mages are on foot.
Let’s not forget a new common magic items list that fills in a lot of the perceived gaps that the Skaven only items have. Abominations are still evil and get more so with their Thunderstomp even if it is a little easier to stop regeneration in this edition. A grand army can take a lot of them too, not something I’d want to be facing. Rat Ogres got the same kind of boost that all monstrous infantry did and are now a viable choice to add extra hittting power into a Skaven force, also you can no longer stand and shoot the A-bomb nor the Doomwheel due to their use of random movement, you’re either going to have to deal with them up close and personal (not recommended) or beat them to a bloody pulp at range. Although now you can pre-measure Skaven shooting is even better than it was previously. In fact the only thing to get worse is Plague Censer Bearers due to the new Skirmish rules and even then they are still worth taking. I can’t really think of too much the Skaven lost in 8th, only a lot of plus points for them.
The oldest book in Warhammer is showing its age. Long overdue an update (much like the Dark Eldar in 40k) the egyptian themed Undead hordes certainly are an interesting army. With an interesting update to the magic system cleared up through their FAQ the risen forces of Khemri are certainly not to be trifled with.
They still suffer the same problems they always have, troops that cost way more than what they are capable of doing, sub-par choices in some areas leading many armies to look like carbon copies etc… Yet they still had a decent tournament showing with people who knew what they were doing. We get some nice stomp attacks for Ushabti and Tomb Scorpions, Thunderstomp on the Bone Giant and still a potentially devastating magic phase if played right. Despite all of this the Tomb Kings really just need a new book, even more than Ogre Kingdoms who appeared before the Wood Elves at the end of 6th. While they can certainly hold their own they aren’t an easy army to use. A little more variety in unit choices wouldn’t go amiss as well as a re-write of the Incantions that they use. I love the theme of this army but they could be so much more. We are probably looking at a middle tier army here but their age shows through.