Category Archives: Daemons of Chaos

Warhammer 8th Edition – 2nd Game Findings

There are about three or four things I can think of writing a post for today, however, I really feel that I should follow up by telling you all about the second game of Warhammer we played using the new edition of the rules. This means, of course, that I will now forget the amazing topics I have selected for posting later in the week, no doubt they would have been chock-full or profound insights into the gaming world and its community, I apologise now for depriving you of such unbridled awesomesauce.

From the picture gracing the beginning of this post you can probably guess what I was fielding. I knocked up a 2000pts Daemons list while Gribblin penned a new Happy Tree Friends list. It wasn’t massively dissimilar from the list I took against against the Vampires but this one had a Treeman in it, not that Gribblin has the best of luck with Treemen in general (a trend to be repeated this time around). I came up with a list that used what I had to hand, it ended up being suprisingly effective, here is what I took;

Herald of Tzeentch with Master of Sorcery (Lore of Death) and Spellbreaker – General

Herald of Slaanesh Battle Standard Bearer with Standard of Sundering and Siren Song

Masque of Slaanesh

25 Daemonettes with Full Command and the Siren Standard

20 Bloodletters with Full Command and Icon of Endless War

10 Flesh Hounds

5 Flamers

3 Blood Crushers with Standard and Icon of Endless War

It was compact, with hindsight my spell lore choice was wrong and I might as well have not taken the banner because we totally forgot it was there for the whole battle. Our scenario was to kill each other (nice and simple) and the deployment was the random rolls. Luckily I ended up with my entire army either on my left flank or in the centre, so I naturally turtled my army together with only the Blood Crushers heading out towards the right of the centre protecting that flank around the Haunted Mansion in the middle of the table. Gribblin rolled for his stuff and everything pretty much ended up in the middle other than the Treeman who had to be delpoyed on my right flank far away from everything.

Through the course of the battle the Haunted Mansion did more damage to my troops than the Wood Elf shooting (D6 Str1 hits, I rolled average for hits but nearly every hit I rolled a 6 for the wound roll). I got off Purple Sun once which ended up clearing line of sight through a unit I wasn’t aiming for so the Herald got peppered by arrows in the following turn. The Bloodletters got flank charged by Wild Riders and sat there for a few turns before my rampaging Daemonettes arrived to help them out. To be honest the Daemonettes were the stars of the show, the Flamers didn’t do too badly as they rolled oodles of shots every turn, but the Slaanesh troops just tore things apart. Always Strikes First is really nasty and the fact I took a big block of 25 helped minimise the impact of casualties. They ripped apart Treekin, massacred the Wild Riders and then ate through Glade Guard. Sure they are only Strength 3 but the sheer number of attacks is ridiculous and then they are re-rolling their misses and dice just mount up, with Wood Elves having next to no armour to speak of, it just made things better for the Daemons.

I held back my Herald which kind of gimped him, Lore of Death has some pretty low ranges on its spells so didn’t get to make much use of the fact he knew all the spells. Overall magic can have a much bigger impact on the game but if things go wrong it can hurt you just as much, it’s a very risky business nowadays but if you have access to a level 4 Wizard I can’t see a hugely compelling reason not to take one. With the bonus to cast and dispel you don’t really need support either, sharing your pool dice with another wizard using smaller bonuses doesn’t see all that good. For armies like Daemons the Battle Standard bearer is now a must. Even though we forgot the banner I gave to mine the re-rolls on Instability tests was great, even when I rolled and eleven, re-rolled and got an eleven again. 8th really did give the BSB a boost and I expect them to be much more prevalent than they used to be. Certain armies always have benefitted from one but with the current changes I feel that almost every army will try and cram one in.

Little things like being able to move your units backwards provides you with options that were not really there before, this allows you to expand your thinking when moving your troops, there isn’t just the option of trudging forwards. If you think you might just be within range for something to charge you, now you can shuffle back a few inches and, barring a lucky dice roll, be odds on to avoid it and gain the bonus for charging yourself in the next turn.

I’m not sure about the new Terrain rules though, I like the random number of elements there are on the table as well as the new scenarios to play, however, not knowing if a wood is really a wood, or the chance that walking near that building could lose you half a unit just seems a mite too unpredicatable. I know they are trying to show off just what the Warhammer world is like, but these funnies and random elements do not translate to a game where you are trying to test each other. I’ll continue with it for a while but some of the elements (haunted mansion for instance) can have too great an impact on things.

Overall, two games in I am enjoying the new version of Warhammer, I pick up the rest of the models to make my 3ooopts army this Friday. Hopefully some hours of gluing various bits to my personal body parts will mean that I then end up with something I can chuck on the table and have a go properly with an aarmy list I’ve worked out and bought to with the new edition in mind. I can then play something while painting the rest of my War of the Ring units.

Hands on With 8th – First Impressions

I took a half-day off work on Friday for various reasons and ended up at our local game store as I knew they’d have their store copy of the new 8th Edition Warhammer rulebook. The poll we are currently running has the majority of people in the category that they will not be picking up the new rules. I put myself in the more conservative stand point that I needed more information before making a decision. I am happy painting my War of the Ring force at the moment and things are progressing really well on that front right now, but Warhammer is a big game and there are many of the 6 Inch Movers who have armies for it, not least of which is my fledgling High Elf force that I was preparing for this very edition before Tolkien falcon punched his way into the fray.

So, after getting my hands on the actual book I thought I’d give my first impressions. Originally I have been in the “they are charging too much for this and some of the changes seem odd” camp, however, I know that sometimes the Internet rumour mill can be a little on the pessimistic side to say the least. Therefore I am willing to admit where I am wrong and give things a fair chance. Has anything changed now I have seen the book? Only slightly, I am more tempted to pre-order but that is more to do with the fact that our store is offering a number of deals for the new book, the one I am interested in is the 10% off the list price if you pre-order, so that’s the rulebook for £40, still a lot of money and I don’t think it is really worth that much. OK the book is bigger than previous incarnations but that is not necessarily a good thing. A larger book doesn’t always mean better rules or better explanation of rules. When I was looking over the Always Strikes First rules and it was talking about the re-rolls you can get I can direct quote that it says “re-roll failed misses.” Yeah, that may only be a few words lifted from the rulebook but as far as my English comprehension goes failed misses are a hit. I know we all are aware what the rule intends to do but once again the Sherrif has dropped a proverbial testicle and that was found with only a cursory glance through the rules. GW does have a rightly earned reputation for poor English and bad explanations in its products and it doesn’t look like 8th is going to be much different. If the inherent mistakes we have found in previous products are not removed how can they justify charging their customer base almost a third more money just for a rulebook?

The book itself really is huge, I think it’s slightly smaller than the current one in terms of its cover but it is a lot thicker, supporting it with one arm to flick through it could be an Olympic event, you can’t hold it for long before you have to sit down and rest it on a table, at least, not with my bandy arms. I think my laptop for work weighs less actually. The production value is high, I’ll give them credit for that but the rules pages seem to go on forever and then there is the obligatory hobby and background sections. If I’m honest I’d be more inclined to buy the book if they cut down on that side of things, OK you want to introduce people into the Warhammer world if this is their first foray into it but you could vastly reduce this considering the amount of background you get from the army books themselves. Provide some basic background and some models pictures so that people can decide what they want to play but the majority of the stuff in the book is unnecessary in my humble opinion. You could then reduce the size of the book and that would bring costs down too, although knowing the greedy old Sherrif he’d keep the price the same. A stand out example of how I like things is the War of the Ring book, sure it’s not the cheapest rulebook on the market but it has all the rules, all the army lists and some decent hobby information in there too. You don’t need to go out and buy any other rules you can just grab the models you want and play. I consider that a much better use of my income than a £45 rulebook a £17.50 army book and then having to buy the models. I cannot think of any other game that costs over £60 to play before you have bought a single model…

Warhammer 8th will sell a lot, their customers are pretty loyal, even after getting shafted repeatedly. I’ll admit that I knocked up a 3000pts list over the weekend as a kind of preparation. Not using my High Elves, I made some calculations on my Daemons, no Siren Song gifts, no BSB with Gifts as well as a magic banner and within the limitations placed upon army construction by 8th edition.

Personally I’m not sure about bringing back the percentages, I can see that people may want to move up to 3000pts as that gives a lot greater freedom with making choices for your army as well as being able to take a lot of the big critters. For my Daemons I doubt I’d ever take a Greater Daemon at 2000pts, you are limited to 25% maximum on Lords and all Greater Daemons are 450pts, leaving you able to upgrade a wizard level or take one or two Gifts, not ideal so I’d stick with Heralds.

If you want a run down of all the rules changes there are many forums out there with a full break down so I am not going to just repeat things here. I am thinking about a pre-order as I can get the book cheaper. £45 is a no-no for me but even with that minimal £5 reduction for some reason I find that easier to stomach, especially as I have seen it in the flesh. I know that Gribblin will be picking it up and I may do the same but I’ll have to speak to the others around here to see if we are going to keep Warhammer Fantasy on the play list when War of the Ring is already here and seems like a much better game.

Noticing a Trend

The fantasy environment is filled with sterotypes, it’s a part of parcel of the genre that has established itself from its beginnings in the primordial soup of works like Robert E. Howards Conan through to Tolkien’s masterworks and more modern pieces like Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time”. What these pieces of literature have done is to expand upon age old mythology and craft tales of heroism against vile beasties of all descriptions, whether it’s a hellish demon or sorcerer, right through to Trolls and Myrdraal. Otherworldy monsters with amazing strength/magical abilities could often be singled out as appropriate bad guys for our protagonist to fight against due to the fact they are largely alien to the real world in which we live. Therefore if the (typically) normal person can overcome these seemingly impossible beasts then the dramatic effect of that victory is magnified as we can understand the limits placed upon a normal human frame.

It is unsurprising then that when this medium is translated into the realms of the tabletop wargame those monsters that captured our imaginations in literature come to life across dining table the world over. Fantasy games especially are festooned with dragons, treemen, trolls, minotaurs, giants and other creatures born of fevered imaginations. For our purposes today we will be looking at the Warhammer world, a land not without more than its fair share of fearsome unnatural creatures.

Way back when I first started in the hobby Warhammer had a Bestiary, a list of all the different monsters than existed in the world and any army had access to them. Empire with Giant Scorpions, you got it, Dark Elves with a Cockatrice, there you go, Undead with a Silverback Gorilla, not a chance. Now, as the game has matured through several versions since those heady days of my misspent youth things have been refined a little. While these same beasts still exist out there in the Warhammer world (except the Gorilla of course) those available for recruitment by the various armed factions have become limited. No longer do we have a laundry list of monsters that any army can pick from, things are a little more tailored now that we get available monsters in the core lists for each army. Personally, I have to admit that I prefer this way of constructing one’s army as some of the choices didn’t really make sense alongside the force they were chosen with. Yet, there is a new trend that is appearing throughout the books, or, at the least, there appears to be and I’m not sure I like it.

Being an adherent to the Warhammer world I look over each army release, I’m not a fanatical collector of all the army books *cough*Gribblin*cough* but I do tend to enjoy looking at the new models and whathaveyou. The Daemons release obviously caused an uproar for how amazingly overpowered it was claimed to be, then we had Warriors of Chaos which took half of the Beastmen list and crammed it alongside the less mutated mortal servants of the Dark Gods. While before this they still had access to monsters it wasn’t as normal to have a proper Warriors list backed up by Dragon Ogres, Shaggoths and Giants. The new Lizardmen book added more power to the Stegadons and the Dark Elf book gave the Hydra a major boost too. Then we come to the last book to be released and the next one on the horizon. People decry the power of Greater Daemons and the undercosted Hydra and then we receive the confirmation of the aptly named Hell Pit Abomination. Never before have Skaven had something that equates to the scale and power of this individual beast, it takes half the special rules from the book and lumps them into one model just shy of 300pts. This monster is rightly feared across the battlefield.

I have followed rumours around the Beastmen book and finally got to have a quick preview of it last week as I was visiting my local game store. From memory I can recall three beasts of giant size coming around the 275pts mark, similar to the Abomination. Now, while I appreciate out of all the armies out there Beasts probably have more right to a horde of large-base monstrosities it is not just their size that is the problem. While I won’t release any spoilers here suffice to say that each of these monsters has some fairly evil rules to match. Just like the Abomination and Hydra are not pushovers for their cost neither are the new Beasts. I wonder if this trend is going to continue in the next releases, current internet rumours suggest we’ll either be seeing the Ogres of Tomb Kings being refreshed, I think the Undead require more of an update than the Ogres but then I am not really all that into the Ogre army.

I’m not sure I agree with the big beasty in every army that seems to be the route GW are going down. While I can see that some armies fit the idea (Beasts for instance) I don’t think that you can “standardise” these things across the whole segment. What really winds me up is that out of these new monsters the only one with a model is the giant and hydra, all the new ones do not have a model available. While this gives players a change to show off their creativity one of my largest bugbears regarding GW is the fact they will often release options in army books that never get a model released. I remember the previous edition of the Dark Elf book where there was no model for a Dreadlord or Noble available throughout the whole time the book was current. I think this is inexcusable for a miniatures company to not have a model for something that everyone is going to have at least one of to use.

So, Internetz, do you think I’m seeing something that isn’t there, or is our fantasy game becoming Monsterhammer? I can guarantee we’ll see lots of them in tournaments over the coming year.