Tag Archives: 8th edition

Warhammer Fantasy – Magic Items Makes it Suck?


In the last week I managed to get in two games of Warhammer Fantasy with the only other player in our group, the man Gribblin. As far as fantasy is concerned we have a healthy and long-standing rivalry and have changed the armies we use as time has gone on (me far more than him unsurprisingly).

I know that one of our players specifically doesn’t play fantasy due to a perceived imbalance in the power that certain magic items bring to the battlefield. This view of the game was not helped when against Gribblin’s Vampires my 50pts Hellheart netted me 600pts of dead Vampires. The following game was not played in such a social setting so he didn’t get to see it do bugger all.

Anyone that plays Fantasy is aware of the game changing nature of some of the magic items, these are normally ones found in some of the older army books. I am talking about items that can change the game and cost very little for the consistent effects that they have. The second game I was playing was against Gribblin’s Lizardmen, a game I tend to find a lot harder than going against the Vampires. I’ll start off by saying that it was a close fought Battleline scenario and he scored 400pts more than me to net a win, however, when you looked at the table at the end of turn 6 there wasn’t a lot left on either side, but congratulations to him all the same.

I took a pretty normal Ogre list, keeping in the Stonehorn and using my new unit of Mournfang Cavalry for the first time (they were awesome). Across from me is one of the most frustrating models in all of Warhammer; the Mega-Pimp-Hand-Uber Slann. This particular anti-gravity amphibian had more bling than a 1980’s Mr T. Cannon balls screamed right through him, while he completely shutdown my magic phase, firing off an entire lore’s worth of spells every turn and (but for a poor dice roll) throwing his miscasts around to everyone else. Yes he is expensive but that model completely removed me from being able to play in one phase of the game, that’s pretty powerful.

I think that I am actually coming around more to our non-Fantasy playing friend’s way of thinking. When  I look at something like Kings of War from Mantic, each army has models with special rules dependent on the army, characters also get special rules but these are also available across the various armies. There is no real customisation of things with special item options.

I like the new 8th edition approach, that the rulebook contains the most of the magic items that are available to armies and there are but a few (normally pricey) options in each army book. However, in some of the older books the fact that magic items contribute such a huge amount can alter the balance of the game. There is the capability to completely neuter and army in a particular way, now, some may consider that just prudent planning and good generalship, but should you be able to win a game almost purely on the back of the fact you spent 100pts on a certain combination of stuff that your opponent can do nothing about?

I appreciate that Warhammer is a hugely complex game, but shouldn’t a battle be decided by the models on the table and the ken of the generals rather than an arbitrary decision made before the models even hit the table?

Please do not think that I am making a whine post because I lost a game of Warhammer, I had a very enjoyable time playing that game, momentum swung back and forth through the game and if I’d have remembered some more of the rules for my army I might have done a little better, still it was a well-earned victory and the first ever loss for my Ogres. The point of the post is to gather opinion on just how much of an impact people are happy with magic items providing to a game. I am not bothered about a 4+ ward save or 2+ armour save, those can be failed. But when you can kit something out to be nigh invulnerable and/or shut down a core part of the game when it already comes with decent protection, is that good irrelevant of cost?

I think much of what makes some of the Fantasy armies, “top-tier” is the access to their magic items list. If everyone purely had access to those in the main rulebook do we think we’d have a far more balanced game, or would it sacrifice variety for the sake of an opinion about what makes the game fairer?

 

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6 Inch Move Review – 8th Edition Warhammer Armies – Ogre Kingdoms


No-one in the Warhammer speaking world can have failed to notice that one of the army books in direst need of being updated has finally crashed through the wilderness of the GW design studio and landed with a thud in stores around the world.

I’ve read, pondered, digested, giggled maniacally, planned, re-planned and procrastinated the writing of this post. I thought it about time that I actually put forth my feelings on the latest book. I believe the best way to start that is to look where we’ve come from.

The previous Ogre book stemmed from a previous age and was starting to show it, even in its native 6th edition it was regarded as an auto-win if you faced them across the table. Seventh edition didn’t do them any favours either but there were those of us who enjoyed the fat, sweaty, subtle as a London rioter being filmed walking down the street with the 52″ TV he’s just looted from the local branch of Currys, big guys! People played the Ogres the only way they could that would let them have any chance of winning. Then, we got 8th edition, a whole new era of gamer dividing awesomeness, suddenly Ogres were actually competitive again. Sure, no-one was singing that they were as broken as Skaven or Daemons but the changes of the new edition brought enough of a see-change that even though people still decried them as bottom of the ladder we could now bring the pain and shock people. Arguments ensued over just how Gut Magic worked, small children wept at night about how many characters were stacked into all-consuming death stars of Bulls or Ironguts but the Ogre players, like the armies that they played, rolled with it and kept on fighting.

So, after almost 300 words of drivel what is the new book like then? As we all know by now GW have decided to put all the new 8th books into hardback, another way of screwing more money out of gullible punters or a genuine improvement in robustness? I’ll let you be the judge of that. However, I must admit that the new books are very nice, still not sure they are worth the money, the Ogre book is 96 pages for £25 afterall but I paid it so I can’t really say all that much now can I?

The background section has been fleshed out (pun intended) so we get much more detail about what happened to the Ogres on their forced migration across the mountains, there are also larger sections expanding the known tribes and the new map is brilliant for showing the tribes, their haunts and the various roads leading through the region. Background and fluff is something the Sherriff has never had a problem with in my book. They might not be able to write clear and concise rules or even balance stuff all that well in some circumstances but they can certainly spin a yarn.

The bestiary is good and provides fluff for all the options in the book, although people have noted that the old Forgeworld Rhinox fluff has been copy/pasta’d into the Mournfang entry. Rather unsurprisingly all of the new units that models have been released for are viable. Ogres certainly have a lot more variety in how they can bring the pain. Gnoblars lost a dedicated Trappers entry and Bicker! but went up in price by 25% when the cost of Ogres across the board dropped in a lot of areas. The Tyrant got more expensive as did the bargain that was the Slaughtermaster who now makes a viable (if low leadership) general.

The special characters are generally overpriced for what they are and the Ogres have far less of them than the other new books, although you could argue how many Ogres you can get with a distinct personality. The new Lore of the Great Maw is pretty decent containing a huge haul of Augment spells and you have to take it on at least one of your Mages, the Lore has no quirks now and works off the standard rules just like how the Lore of Nehekhara has been brought into line with the new edition.

Ogre Bulls are now just called Ogres, are cheaper and now come with armour, they have a number of options and Ironfists now count as a shield so you can get a Parry save! Ogres have lost the Armour Penetration of their Ogre Clubs but also will be more reliable when charging into stuff and scoring impact hits due to the changes in those rules. The Special choices are really where things get interesting for the Ogres now, Sabretusks can be taken in packs of 1-10, that’s right for a mere 21pts you can take a M8 model with the same stats as an Eagle for running around on flanks and hunting warmachines or redirecting the enemy. The Mournfang cavalry are the heavy shock troops for the Ogres, they can get a 2+ armour save, can carry a magic banner and can use Ironfists to get a Parry even when mounted. They cost a lot but are going to be a huge benefit for Ogre generals. Slam in some normal Ogres into the front of a unit and a flank charge from these guys is going to be devastating! If you want another unit that is going to make your opponent cry then the new Maneaters are where it’s at. Substantially cheaper than before you now get to pick two of a myriad special rules when picking the unit, this makes them eminently customisable. They are not cheap either but then Ogre players are used to having to deal with expensive units.

In Rares we now find the Scraplauncher that uses a small template but won’t charge headfirst into the first thing it sees! We get a cannon with S10 grapeshot that is mounted on a chariot, it’s 40pts more than the (cheaper) Scraplauncher but also fills more of a hole. We get the Slave Giant now called a normal Giant and using the same profile from the Orc book, although I think he will now feature in even fewer lists thanks to our new arrivals. The Stonehorn (pictured at the start of this post) is a pure brute, it does an increased number of impact hits when it charges. It certainly isn’t going to take a normal sized unit down on its own but it will make a mess of what it hits. The Thundertusk is a support beast, still big and tough but not as brutal in combat. It can spit out spheres of ice and give Always Strikes Last to enemies within 6″! No more re-rolls for those pesky High Elves.

The Ogre magic items are typically lean as has been the style with the new books, they are often overpriced for what they are. Debates rage online about just whether the Ironfist (which performs exactly like a shield so the rules tell us) means that a Slaughtermaster can take magical armour but overall we have another solid book here. The general consensus among Ogre players is that this is a massive improvement, an assessment I am happy to agree with. It doesn’t make the Ogres hugely overpowered, but offers improvements and viable choices where none existed before.

I’ll be looking to get some of the new units for sure and will give a rundown of how the go when I finally get around to putting them on the tabletop.

 

Warhammer and Comp Restrictions – A Viewpoint


Wow, I suppose that this is another milestone, the 250th post here on 6 Inch Move. We’re certainly crunching through numbers here recently. I suppose that with so many cool things being released at the moment (new version or Warhammer, expansion for Malifaux) that there is a lot of things to write about, even if we here at the floating citadel are experiencing a drought after a month that was filled with all kinds of gaming goodness. I suppose we each just have a lot going on at the moment, I know I do.

Yet, even if we are not spending every night with a paint brush in hand or stopped over a table filled with little plastic men, we will not let the Internet down by spewing forth our thoughts on the gaming hobby. Following on from yesterday’s opinion post I wanted to really push the boat out and make another one. We’re boarding up the windows of the citadel, just in case the tweens have developed some kind of long range siege weaponry.

As I stated in yesterday’s post I am not a tournament player, although I read enough articles and forum posts to understand what goes on and the kind of armies that people take. There is also one particular point, that, while not universal to all tournaments, crops up often enough and can be quite divisive with many people being “for” it and equally as many being “against”. This system is Composition or Comp as it is more widely called. The basic premise of this is that various people (not GW developers) take the army lists and the rules and then change things around. Primarily these restrictions and changes are there to “balance” the perceived differences in the army power levels. Sometimes Comp is used in this restrictive format, other times players are asked to score one another’s armies (it is generally accepted that many players will mark an opponent down if they lose to them).

There are many different systems and variations of those systems in use, your tournament score can be affected if you take certain units or models and certain things are banned altogether. With the new spell lores in 8th edition I have read about sets of Comp restrictions that remove access to the top spells from some of the lores. Historically Daemon armies were the focus of some quite horrific restrictions to stop them being “broken” or “auto-win” and there were many arguments back and forth on various forums about whether this was fair or not and if Daemon players were being penalised because other players were not stepping up to the challenge and just whining that they couldn’t win taking their normal armies.

First off, I suppose I need to put forth my stance on tournaments and how I see them. For me wargames are about competition in general, you are trying to win against the player opposite you according to the specifics of the game/scenario you are playing. While at home this is done with a bit more of an atmosphere about having a laugh and enjoying the game in a relaxed manner, in a tournament I’d expect a more cut-throat “win at all costs” attitude as you are being rewarded according to your success. While some people might go just to play some games against some new opponents if you are paying money to go to one to these things and there are prizes on offer I’d hope that each person goes there with an attitude to try to win.

Within this environment you are therefore going to try to make the most optimal and strong lists possible to give yourself the best chance of winning, I mean, hey, it’s a tournament you’re supposed to try to win right? That is what I’d expect. Now, from that stance you can probably quite easily work out which side of the comp argument I come down on. I can hear the counter arguments already, “but some armies are better, we need comp to balance things to make the games fairer!” I am sorry but I say “suck it up”, do you think that Leonidas stood in the Hot Gates with his 300 Spartans (I know there were more men at Thermopylae than just the Spartans) and looked over the Persian horde and said “man, these teams are stacked, Xerxes, why don’t you send some of your guys over to play skins to even things up a bit?” Somehow, I don’t think so.

My main argument against Comp is that you are changing things around with the rules and the army books, arbitrarily altering people’s choices because certain things are too strong. I hope people can see my argument there, I can agree that GW should write books that are more or less similar in their power level but a perfect balance is not something that is ever going to be achieved, this is a tournament after all. While in the confines of our own home we play around with units and armies to have fun in a competitive setting the winning is not the be all and end all of the game. In tournaments it is, yes that may mean that we only see a few armies at a tournament, the perceived “strong” ones, but that doesn’t stop someone from coming up with a winning list from something outside that group when the playing field leans in a particular way. If you are going to a tournament why wouldn’t take the strongest list you can? Doesn’t that give you the greatest chance of winning?

Results show that there isn’t just one army that blitz’s all before it, if there was then I’d imagine that everyone would take that list, on a good day any one army can take another due to the fact that a sizeable part of the game comes down to luck. Dice rolls make a lot of the decisions on what happens irrelevant of the strategy of the general.

Personally I don’t think that Warhammer in its new incarnation lends itself much towards tournament play, there are a lot of options and a lot of random elements. Plus there is the decisive nature of some of the top spells, I understand why some organisers want to nix these in order to try and create a more tournament friendly rules set. However, when anyone does this it detracts from the game by superseding what the games developers were trying to achieve when they wrote the game. I’m not saying that Warhammer players shouldn’t hold or attend tournaments in 8th Edition, I just have the opinion that there are other games that lend themselves better to tournament play (Warmachine, Hordes and Malifaux spring straight to mind).

I dislike Comp because it removes options rather than allows players the full run of their armies. If you are attending a tournament you can pick what you take, no one is stopping you from taking the biggest, baddest list you can come up with and in a setting that glorifies winning, I don’t think you should ever be stopped or penalised from bringing the best you can. After all, if Warhammer were real a rampaging army wouldn’t ask one of their elite units to sit on the sideline because they are a bit too strong against their opponents, it’s just silly.

Warhammer 8th Edition – New Terrain Rules Investigated


I am about to open up yet another post stating my own personal opinion about something. Regular readers are no doubt aware that we do this from time to time, I mean, what else is the Internet for if not expressing one’s self? This is also the reason why the 6 Inch Move citadel is a floating one, kind of like Dalaran from Warcraft. In order to avoid the vitriol of close-minded nerds who seem unable to grasp the concept that other people might think differently than they do, we magically airlifted the bunker in which the writing team were hiding themselves. Since doing this we’ve, thankfully, stayed out of range of the majority of nerd rage.

As is inevitable with a new set of rules there is the potential to divide a community into camps who like the changes and those who do not. This isn’t quite as polarised as it may seem though as many people will like certain changes that others do not and dislike some changes that another party may find works well for them. Now, no rule set is ever going to be perfect, humans are imperfect creatures and GW has a long history of ambiguity and unclear writing. This then lends itself to division between players, in general this division does not result in a clash of sabers but there are camps out there in Internetland that will defend their particular standpoint with the full force of a cabinet minister being caught on a night out with some ladies of ill-repute. Normally this is reserved for the various power levels of individual armies, yet this preamble is getting towards what I would like to discuss today; the new terrain rules.

This is probably (next to the introduction of True Line of Sight) the cause of the majority of discussions regarding the new rules. I bought the issue of White Dwarf that heralded the arrival of 8th Edition and it provided some insights there. For every scenario in the rulebook there is a guide telling you how to set up terrain for a game, this panel normally refers you to page 142 which says for you to place D6+4 pieces of terrain on the table. Normally this is done by rolling on a table and looking up what that roll represents, some terrain pieces are then rolled for to see which particular type you get. For instance, you could roll for a building, you then roll again on another chart to see what kind of building that is. Sometimes you will get just a normal building, however, in the majority you are going to get a piece of terrain which can have an impact on units nearby. These rules range from a modifier to certain dice rolls (i.e. a minor buff) to the potential to cause significant damage across a unit.

GW have explained that the Warhammer world isn’t just a fantasy medieval version of our world, it is something wholly different where the very land is as much a threat as the inhabitants. This in turn raises the argument about what do you want from a game? Do you want a test of generalship one person to another?, or do you want a narrative whereby you are just playing a game and the battlefield is as much an enemy as the army you are facing off against? Historically Warhammer has been a game where one person faces another to see who marshals their forces better to complete an objective (normally kill everyone, take names and maybe try to hold table quarters in turn 6). With the addition of scenarios there is now a range of battles you can fight without having to make stuff up yourself and I commend GW for this. However, when the terrain has the potential to kill off your dudes, I believe the game loses focus. Sure, there is as much a chance for your opponent to fall foul of the things that you do and it does ask you to make decisions that you would otherwise not have to make during the game, however, you are not there to fight against the board, you are supposed to be having fun with a friend. I’ve only played a few games of 8th so far and am looking forward to more, however, in one game terrain did virtually nothing, in the second game it had a much more profound effect. We rolled a Haunted Mansion and dropped it in the middle of the table. If units are nearby it does a random number of Strength 1 hits to every unit in range. Now, strength 1 might not seem like much, but rolls of a 6 always wound in the new edition, you can imagine where this is going. Even with armour and ward saves I was losing troops every turn I was near it, we used a proper mansion to represent it as well so the building was quite large. To be honest I almost lost more models to the Mansion than I did to the enemy!

Considering you are also going to have a minimum of 5 pieces of terrain on the battlefield chances are that only one of those is not going to be something out of the ordinary, thereby you are either going to be flicking through the rulebook to find out what they are, have to remember, or write down what each terrain element actually represents. I don’t think that this helps the flow of the game. While it can provide for some comical moments (Daemons getting nailed by S1 ghosts…) I’m not sure that it fits within a wargame where the general MO is to crush your opponent into dust. I’m still going to play a few more games with these terrain rules before our group makes a decision on whether to use them or not. However, another thing it brings up is the tournament scene.

Now, I am not a tournament player, never have been and more than likely never will be, yet I don’t think the new terrain rules fit in with the tournament crowd. They want a straight fight over a battlefield and to see who comes out on top using competitively built armies. There are enough spells and magic items out there to counter or survive without stumbling into a stream and suddenly finding your expensive unit of elite troops has just got splattered due to some bad dice rolling. I know that these inclusions in the rules doesn’t mean that you have to use them, but it does give an insight into the minds of the games developers. If these rules are included and from that you assume that you are being encouraged to use them, does that mean that Warhammer is not being developed with tournament players in mind? They are certainly a very vocal bunch, especially on the matter of whether their army got borked by the changes in the new rules. If GW are trying to create a game that represents the world as much as the inhabitants of it then are they trying to take us down the route of narrative games and moving away from the “gamer vs gamer who plays better” principles that have existed since I have been into the hobby (almost 20 years). Are future tournaments going to be more around having fun with others that you haven’t faced before rather than trying to come out on top as the only incentive?

I just think we won’t see many tournaments using these terrain rules. It’ll certainly slow down the games as you have to stop for certain features to do their thing. How do you feel about the new terrain rules?

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.

Warhammer 8th Edition – First Game Thoughts


I may be naught but a humble re-animated buckler of swashes but there are a couple of things that really wind me up, I feel like sharing these with you before diving into the meat and potatoes of my actual post. Both of these relate to the toiletry habits of the male Homo Sapiens Sapiens in a working environment, point the first; why is it that some guys seem incapable of working the flush mechanism? I mean, it’s not rocket science, all you have to do is push a button or push the handle down a very simple process that means the next user doesn’t have to stare at whatever it was you deposited during the last time you took the Browns to the Superbowl! Point the second, the toilet is a male only domain, no women can use the men’s toilet, there is a sign on the door and everything, wangs only!!! That means you are allowed to leave the toilet seat up, in fact doing so provides the gentleman with a larger target to hit while standing and judging by the trail of pi$$ dripping from the seat you could really do with having a more sizeable area to thrash your wild beast, it’s possible you may hit the right target then!

Anyway, that wasn’t really what I wanted to talk about today. After my previous post regarding our sojourn to Warhammer World and our subsequent trial of the latest edition we have managed to play a couple of games using the varied gaming facilities of the 6 Inch Move floating citadel, in other words, mine and Servitob’s living rooms. I wanted to give a quick rundown, not a full battle report, of these games, their participants and the feelings that I have towards how things worked out and using the new rules in general.

The first game we played was alluded to from my previous post. Due to Gribblin’s required sacrifice at the altar of “I want to maintain a Girlfriend” (we have quietly suggested amongst ourselves that he should get married, this quite handily solves all of the nonsense about having to spend time together “I’m going out with my mates on Monday” for some reason tends to be more than OK) he was ideally placed to service our needs. Servitob rang him while we were on our way back in the good ship ZombiePirate (also known as a Mazda) and asked him to knock out a couple of 2000pts armies and bring them along. So it was that we arrived at our respective domiciles with a couple of hours to spare ideal time to chill out after the drive and arrange suitable snacks for the evening’s entertainment.

At the appointed time we met up at Servitob’s estate, emptied a cars worth of terrain and armies and went about setting things up. Gribblin had brought his Wood Elves and his Vampire Counts, one army that got considerably weaker in 8th and one that stayed about the same. This was going to be an interesting matchup. We rolled off to see which army people would command, so it was that Gribblin and team-mate Servitob took the forces of Sylvania while myself and nBreaker had a force of Greenpeace rejects with which to play. As I am writing this up a few weeks after it happened the specifics of the list are lost to the hazy twilight of hindsight but please bear with me. Our Wood Elves consisted of a Spellweaver with Lore of Life, a Noble Battle Standard Bearer, a Branchwraith, 2 units of 15 Glade Guard, a unit of Eternal Guard, a 10 man Glade Rider unit, 10 Wild Riders, 10 Dryads and 3 Treekin. Across the table were a veritable horde (literally in the case of the zombies) of the Undead led by a combat oriented Vampire Lord.

The game was based around the Break Point scenario and was our first proper game of 8th edition at an appropriate points level. This late in there is no way I can provide a turn by turn account of what happened, what I can do though is to highlight parts of the game that surprised us and talk about things we enjoyed. Movement and deployment are still as vital as ever. If you position your troops in the right way you are still a good way to achieving victory and just because you have a unit of Fast Cavalry that can use the Vanguard move doesn’t mean you have to. If they are going to be unsupported for a turn or two then hold them back with the main line, unless they can survive being out there on their own waiting for your infantry/other cavalry to arrive. Monsters are now sicker than ever. The vampires took a Varghulf and that thing can cause an horrific amount of damage, the Thunderstomp attack may come last but it can deal enough damage to swing a combat, likewise the Treekin with just their normal Stomp attacks benefitted greatly from it, 3 of them single-handedly saw off a unit of 20 Ghouls.

I deployed the Glade Guard in 2 ranks to maximise the shooting, however in hindsight I should have stuck with three ranks, I’d have lost some shots for the first few turns but after that they would be much better in combat. I could also do 2 ranks for turn one and then reform in turn 2, this was the first time I was playing as Wood Elves so forgive me a few mistakes. We deployed the Branchwraith, Dryads and Treekin on our left flank and everything else went either on or towards the right, this split the Vampire Counts and the Forest Spirits held their flank well despite getting mostly wiped out. I was impressed. Cavalry in units of 5 are not worth it, I had two units of 10 and the supporting attacks from those in the second rank makes things really worthwhile, with most armies this is going to eat into your points but the offensive benefit is well worth it. It was a close fought game with the Eternal Guard charging the Zombie horde, we knew it was going to be a grindy combat but I wanted to stop that unit rather than let it run around threatening other stuff. Lore of Life was fantastic, for one turn I had the Toughness 7 Regenerating Elves of doom! It was great, but using the regular spells to bring back your own troops had a big impact against the Undead. Just as they could boost their units, bringing back Elves was really useful and helped out no end.

Combats were intense and very bloody, some of them wound on a little bit but that’s what happens when you fight Undead. Eventually the Wood Elves did win due to killing off enough of the standards, it was still a closely fought game and very enjoyable. I’ve waffled on enough now so will have to have the second game as another post, but we were very impressed with the game. No arguments for rules came up that I can recall, everything worked and we had a fun game, that can never be a bad thing.

6 Inch Move – Trying Out 8th Edition at the Home of Warhammer


With the days of Summer now dwindling as we approach Autumn, the 6 Inch Move team descended from our floating citadel to take some well-earned (mostly) days off. August is traditionally a month for vacationing and so we took breaks from our usual employment of reconfiguring printers and people’s faces to spend time avoiding wives/girlfriends through various creatives uses of our time. I thought I’d catalogue some of this as it may be of interest to all those web-trawling Googlebots.

During the first day of our vacation we decided to stick with something traditional, not quite a slap-up dinner at Mrs Miggin’s Pie Shoppe but nonetheless decidedly tasty. We started with a hearty McDonalds breakfast before heading up north to balmy Lenton and it just so happened that it was the first day that the Island of Blood boxed set was being demonstrated. Unfortunately not all of us were allowed out to play, Gribblin spouted some nonsense about his girlfriend (how he can be asked to spend time with her rather than his mates after taking her to see all three Twilight movies and the DVD releases I do not know) so it was just the three of us making the pilgrimage this time. In reality we had travelled several hours north just to get a Fat Bloke burger but mum’s the word on that if our wives are reading.

While taking in the store we took a look over the display they had for the new set, to whet your whistle I provide a recently released screenshot of how things look from the box.

I have to say that I was impressed with the quality of the models. We were almost instantly beset by an other-enthusiastic red shirt doing his best Del-boy Trotter impression hoping we’d lay down some cash for a set. Servitob, piqued from his normal Warhammer Fantasy malaise decided to take up his offer of trying the game out. I’d already read through the rules but good ol’ Servitob is not normally into this kind of thing, he took part as the verminous Rat-men while I was left with some haughty Elves.

The models are really good, high quality and if you collect either of the armies in the box you could do a lot worse than grab this set. Some of the models seem a little odd to include as a set but for learning to play they have a good selection of different types of models. We were apparently destined to try to kill each other which we set about in short order. Memorable moments of the battle were the first turn Skaven magic phase, a level 1 Warlock Engineer fried my Mage with a single Warp Lightning cast, the Warp Fire Thrower decimating the unit of Sword Masters almost to a man, the Ellyrian Reavers fleeing a charge and then not rallying for two turns, the cremated Sword Masters seeing off the unit of Clanrats supporting the Warp Fire Thrower that had scorched them earlier. This was then joined by the Griffon riding Elf hero scaring off the Skaven Warlord’s regiment bt landing behind it and saying “BOO!” in a particularly loud and menacing fashion. When all things were tallied up both sides had been thinned massively and we happily called it a draw.

First impressions of the game were very favourable, things have been streamlined and the game play is faster, Servitob hasn’t played for a few editions but also took a liking to things, you know how much by the fact he tried to paint a Skaven the other day. When we got home in the evening he even suggested we arrange another game. Our red shirt wasn’t quite up to scratch with the new rules, he needed reminding of a few things every now and again but from talking to him he was new there so I’m not going to be too hard on him. I have to say I did enjoy the game, the warmachines included as part of the Skaven are really evil,  don’t fancy facing those across the table in a proper battle but in general the game was quite bloody with both Elves and Skaven dying in  droves.

We had a quick look round the store, went for our burgers and then took a trip to Maelstrom Games as we were in the neighbourhood. I’ll write-up another post charting the battles we have fought of 8th edition proper to give a better impression of how we found the game, currently we have used Wood Elves, Daemons of Chaos and Vampire Counts, full run down coming soon so stay tuned.