Tag Archives: 8th edition

Warhammer 8th Edition – Army Power Levels Explored Part 4


Wow, this has taken a long time hasn’t it? I’m sorry Interwebz, I am currently on vacation from work and I’m going to use that as an excuse for not having got through with this sooner, that and a really hectic week before that following an office refurb. However, I am here now and ready to finish off with the last three armies. This has all been done alphabetically rather than any genuine attempt to annoy Gribblin who uses two of the armies that we will be looking at today. I suppose that once I am done with this final post in this series we should start writing up our experiences with 8th edition as earlier in the week 6 Inch Move were at Warhammer World and got hands on with the new boxed game Island of Blood and we came back and played our first proper 8th edition game that evening. But first…

Vampire Counts

In 7th edition the Vampire Counts list was one of the toughest to beat, up there with Dark Elves and Daemons of Chaos. With some of the rumours coming out before we got our hands on the actual rules typical Internet doom-mongery was at its most fertile with fervent trolling of apocalyptic decreases in the power level of the book. Luckily for all right-thinking individuals the prophesied doom of the Vampire Counts did not come about. While some of the cheesier elements are not quite as strong as they used to be, I’m looking at you single dice casting spam, the rest of the list has survived intact and elements have gotten ever stronger. While you now add your wizard level onto the casting total of spells a natural total of 1 or 2 will end your magic phase, so those single dice castings could really screw you over. However, both the Corpse Cart and the Varghulf are monsters and therefore get the Thunderstomp rule!

The rest of the army is still composed of some of the most evil combat characters in the whole game as well and most of the Lore of Vampires spells are easier to get off with the new casting rules, however, I would expect to see Vampires plucking some Lore of Death or Lore of Shadow spells in larger armies due to the nature of the spells in there which would perhaps give them more offence than the standard coterie of summoning. I know that you want to keep your units alive by rezzing them but a single Vampire with one of the new Lores could do a lot of damage to the opponent and thereby reducing the damage your shambling horde takes.

If Zombies were a tarpit before, with the new horde rules you are looking at one of the best in the game, they are dirt cheap like all good hordes should be but cause fear and are Immune to Psychology. Good luck getting through that without putting way more power into a combat than is warranted. Vampires didn’t too badly at all out of the new rules and I expect them to be as evil as ever. Not unbeatable by any means but still will put on a strong showing.

Wizards of Chaos

That’s right, I made a funny! But seriously, considering the power that is Infernal Gateway, how many WoC players do you face that take a combat Lord these days? OK, well, take a guess who went from average to bat-poop crazy? Here is another army that got catapulted into the top-tier of army lists with only a massive rules update to thank for it. Warhammer 8th edition is about infantry, killy, choppy infantry and who has some of the killiest and choppiest stuff out there? Warriors of Chaos, that’s who. I am looking at the humble Chaos Warrior who has WS5 and I5 to start with and a 4+ armour save due to his Chaos Armour, give them a shield and that’s 3+ with a Parry save for that 6+ Ward. Bolster that with Mark of Tzeentch and that ward save goes to a 5+, not bad for a Core troop choice, or you could give them halberds for S5. While you could argue that cavalry took a hit and that used to be a big part of Chaos lists the fact that the infantry got so much better more than makes up for it, you can take almost three Warriors per Knight and while I still think Knights will feature (who doesn’t want a unit of Fear causing S5 magic attacks?) Warriors of Chaos will finally be about just that, the humble Warriors. Cheap Marauders allow you to get a Horde unit or two if you want and just like the Vampires you have some of the best Lord level characters in Warhammer to choose from too.

With spells easier to cast that flying Tzeentch wizard that has been nuking the living crap out of your expensive units is here to stay and has some nice new items to pick out of from the new rulebook too. Lore of Metal will still work wonders against these guys but if you don’t know what you will be facing then you’re not going to be able to tailor your spell Lore just for these guys. The Warshrine can now Thunderstomp as it’s a monster so is much better at protecting itself in combat now but the units that you would never take before still aren’t worth anything. So the army did get quite a buff, tough, armoured warriors with a high initiative, couldn’t ask for any other army that really captures as much of what 8th is about as these guys.

Wood Elves

Last, but by no means least, we come to Gribblins favourite, tree-hugging friends, the Wood Elves. I’m going to make an alarmist statement and then back it up, so all fanbois prepare to stop reading after the next sentence. No army got gimped as much by the new rules as the Wood Elves. There, no we’ve lost all the rage-quitters after I just dissed their army I’ll tell you why I think this. Wood Elves are an interesting army, always have been. They have a large number of skirmishing units, next to no armour at all, one of the poorest spell lores in all of Warhammer and Woods are no longer difficult terrain anymore so anyone can go right through them.

In translation, the Wood Elves lost some of their advantages, whereas before you’d never have charged anything the Woodies had if it was shaded beneath the boughs of Oak or Beech, now you can charge in with impunity and thanks to no armour and T3, even if they get to strike before you, you are going to ROFLstomp them into the ground. Wood Elves are expensive points wise, the same with all Elves but they don’t have the all out offence that the Dark Elves or High Elves can bring to the table. Yes, Treemen and Tree Kin got mightier with their various stomp attacks and the ability to gain ranks but most armies are going to pack some kind of flaming weapon to get rid of Regeneration these days and that leaves them vulnerable. Also, with skirmishers losing their 360 degree line of sight a lot of the freedom of movement that the Wood Elves enjoyed is gone. While you can still join combat on a flank or the rear to help with combat resolution those skirmishers are going to be tougher to use as you need to plan their movement like a regular unit now rather than being able to divert them at a moments notice.

With all the skirmishers not having options for a standard bearer either in Blood and Glory scenarios you are going to be at a disadvantage. This really is the edition of the Eternal Guard. Where the Wood Elves did get good is in their Lord level casters. Lore of Life is now an amazing Lore to use and I’d expect it to be the default Lore for any Wood Elf worth his salt. This Lore gets around some of the key weaknesses of the Wood Elves, namely low toughness and crappy armour. You can now get T7 Regenerating Elves that you can res back if they die, what’s not to love there? As you can cast Augments in combat you don’t have to worry too much unless your dudes are being targeted specifically by models they are in combat with.

With the exception of Tomb Kings and Ogres, Wood Elves are now the oldest book out there, having been released just as 7th edition was about to appear. I don’t know what they will do to help the forest lovers out but Wood Elves are even trickier to play than they were before. While most Elves are polarised by their strengths and weaknesses this just seems so much more apparent in Wood Elves now. To really get the most out of them will take some good generalship, they are not going to lose every game by any means, there is still a lot of power there, but they are not a beginners army.

So, there we have it, a round up of all the armies for Warhammer. I’ll break it down now by giving a listing of where I think each army rates on the typical Tier chart. Remember folks, this is just the opinion of an ageing Undead Buccaneer, you are free to agree/disagree at your own pleasure;

Tier 1 – Dark Elves, Dwarfs, The Empire, High Elves, Skaven, Vampire Counts, Warriors of Chaos

Tier 2 – Daemons of Chaos, Lizardmen, Ogre Kingdoms, Orcs & Goblins, Wood Elves

Tier 3 – Beastmen, Bretonnians, Tomb Kings,

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Warhammer 8th Edition – Army Power Levels Explored Part 3


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.

Ogre Kingdoms

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.

Skaven

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.

Tomb Kings

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.

Warhammer 8th Edition – Army Power Levels Explored Part 2


I know it has taken a while, my boss feels that it’s relevant to make me do some work during the day rather than admit that work is an 8 hour lull spent thinking about the next model we’re going to paint or game we’re going to play. As soon as I figure out how to monetise writing a blog sufficient to fulfill my needs, well, we’ll have a really happy writing staff if they can get a piece of the action.

Anyway, enough with the inane waffle, time to leap right back into our series on the changes wrought on the Warhammer armies due to the advent of the 8th edition of the rules.

DWARFS

Dwarfs have undergone some pretty major changes thanks to the new edition of the rules. These changes have catapulted them (or grudgethrowered depending on your bent) right up into one of the most dangerous and powerful armies of this edition. Random charge moves mean that the short ones will on average be going 10″, much faster than they were previously capable of. If an enemy isn’t expecting this it can come as quite a shock. True line of sight means there is little space to hide from all the artillery that can be thrown your way, 50% of an army on special choices is a lot of Cannons, Bolt Throwers and Grudgethrowers, before you factor in what can be taken from the rare choices or that core Quarellers and Thunderers can now fire in two ranks.

Dwarfs with their base leadership of 9 are going to be tough to beat in combat too, large infantry units have been a staple of Dwarf armies for a long time, now they are going to be even more difficult to shift. Due to their poor Initiative I reckon you are only ever going to face them when they are armed with Great Weapons, you are going to be striking last anyway so might as well fight back with some oomph, and with large blocks you are not going to be suffering enough wounds (at T4) to reduce attacks back in the first round. The stunties are really going to have to be softened up before anyone can hope to beat them through combat. Their magic defence is still as nuts as ever as Runesmiths can still take three dispel runes while all other armies are reduced to taking one scroll if they choose nothing else from Arcane Items lists. Premeasuring also means that shooting is rarely going to miss and it is all high strength. Fighting against Dwarfs means you are going to take a pounding going in and a pounding when you get there. Unfortunately you need the same kind of tactics to fight them, soften them up and thin them out before getting into combat and that is much more easily said than done.

Empire

After the Dwarfs, the one army that has also gained a goodly amount is the Empire. Finally we have a human army that isn’t Space Marines and can hold its own pretty well in a new field. Like the Dwarfs, Empire shooting got even better with the extra ranks you can use and Empire artillery also benefits in the same ways as mentioned above. While a gunline will be just as devastating as before the Empire has access to a lot of very cheap infantry units that will allow them to really have a combined arms force that works very well on the table. Wizards with access to all the basic spell lores gives them incredible versatility and they can be taken at level 4 alongside another lord level character relatively easily. I am imagining some pretty hefty infantry units backed up by melee and ranged detachments with an outfield filled to the brim with as much artillery as can be crammed into the list. Greatswords are going to be worth taking now you will get to fight back due to stepping up and the large number of Knights available will make great supporting units for when your halberdiers and swordsmen get stuck in. This army has really gained a lot and shot up the rankings to be one of the most versatile and deadly books in the current generation.

I even considered switching armies again, but then I read more into the…

High Elves

That’s right, the army I pledged not to use until I had it painted. Then we got 8th edition and War of the Ring. War of the Ring is winning in the painting stakes but these guys are coming out soon after. Elves still suffer from being T3 and High Elves don’t have a huge amount of armour to protect them. What makes them good in this edition is what made them good in the last edition, Speed of Asuryan. Not only do all High Elves come with Always Strike First, but their version overrides all other weapon rules. Swordmasters and White Lions are now equally destructive and will cause a huge number of casualties in whatever they face, supporting attacks help the Lions more than the chaps from Hoeth but both units are quite viable in larger numbers than they were before. Elite army also means you ignore the duplication limits on Special and Rare choices no matter the points level played to. High Elf mages are still some of the best in the game, High Magic got easier to cast with the changes to the magic system and being able to pick any of the other Lores from the book is still a massive gain over others. it is now possible to have a Prince not flying around on a Dragon and for him to be useful.

Repeater Bolt throwers are kind of useless now as they only have 2 wounds, need two crew to fire and everything can wound them on 6’s or better. For 100pts you are normally better taking a couple of Eagles (who are still great) and troubling your opponents war machines or lone characters. Always Strike First now grants re-rolls to hit if your Initiative is the same or higher than your opponents means High Elves are going to be nasty in combat with normal units, Lothern Sea Guard are experiencing a coming of age and Spearelves are back on the horizon too as they can fight in 4 ranks normally or 5 ranks if you go horde! The future is looking bright for the Elves, I look forward to finishing off my army at some point and giving them a try out. Luckily I didn’t finish it as a lot of the options I’ll now be looking at are different from what they were in 7th.

Lizardmen

The last army for this part of our analysis is the Lizardmen, one of the later books from 7th edition who got a power boost with their new toys. While not generally considered a top tier army they were always a tough opponent to beat, not a lot has changed with this. Saurus get better now that they can step-up as their low initiative isn’t that much of a burden overall. Large blocks of them surrounded by a BSB are going to be tough to shift. A Slann in a unit of Temple Guard is even harder to try to break now too, I’d avoid this kind of bunker even more than I would have in the old edition. Again the giant frog is one of those guys that has access to all the Lores in the book, however, forcing you to pick your lore at army creation has the potential for some bad match-ups the same as with other armies who have this feature. The Slann options for magic items can really upset things now, with a really evil miscast table the Slann chucking his miscast’s at an enemy spell caster is likely to hurt big time and removes a lot of the risk that Mr. Frog would other face for chucking as many dice as he can against a spell, although I find it amusing to picture what would happen when the Hex scroll is used to try to turn the Slann into a frog…

Multiple Lords on Carnosaurs are now possible in smallish lists and Salamanders will probably see more tabletime now as well. With big blocks of infantry being the order of the day, the Stegadon spam lists should also dwindle as the last thing they want to happen is to be stuck in infantry. Lizardmen didn’t gain a huge amount from the new rules, certainly not as much as some other armies, but they are still strong enough to hold their own and provide a challenge.

That’s it for now, stand by for Part 3 coming soon!

Warhammer 8th Edition – Army Power Levels Explored Part 1


THE collective wargaming world has now had, more or less, a week in which to digest the changes that have been made to the Warhammer fantasy rules. While certainly a lot of the Internet-based doom-mongery that prevailed before the books release has died down there are still the die-hard few that have consigned Warhammer to its grave and will stop playing. However, for the vast majority of players this new edition has been a breath of fresh air, it may not be perfect, there may be some tweaks needed to some of the army books down the road but overall I am actually excited about the changes that have been brought in and look forward to getting hands-on with the game at some point. With our gaming groups commitment to War of the Ring this may be a little further down the line, I know Servitob is still waiting patiently for me to complete my Easterlings.

What the new edition has also done is shift the power of various armies. There are a lot of forum threads around right now discussing the merits of the armies and what “tier” they are in with regards to their perceived tournament effectiveness. This new set of rules hasn’t just affected what armies have the advantage, it has also affected people’s thinking on certain units and some magic items that were previously considered sub-par now have a valid use and others that were must haves are now going to disappear entirely.

What is clear from what I am reading and also from search results generating traffic right here, is that people are very much concerned about the power levels of the various armies. I’d like to think that people pick a force based on the look of the models and the background of the army, not solely on the perceived “ZOMGWTFBBGOMGAWESOMESAUCEROFLSTOMPROFLCOPTERCHUCHU!!!11!!!!!!!!amillion!!!!!!!!!29!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!” power scale. I know that for some people winning is the only option, the idea of having a fun game with your mates is nothing compared to preparing your latest and greatest list to rape the sanity of all who you face at the next tournament.

As Gribblin has already given his thoughts on the rules themselves and I echo what he says, I thought I’d spend today’s post going through the armies and offering my own opinions on how they fare in the new edition. I would ask you all to remember that these are my opinions and that therefore they may differ from your own, this is not a problem for me, neither should it be for you. That’s the wonderful thing about opinions, we are all entitled to our own. Let’s begin;

Beastmen

When the Beasts were released right at the end of 7th edition it was a widely held belief that they sucked ass. This was not an erroneous belief, everyone was aware that 8th would probably give them a bit of a boost and it has. Sure they are still not going to be an army that is going to wipe the boards with everyone but as bigger blocks of infantry are now more desirable so the Beastmen profit. Minotaurs got a big boost with the addition of Monstrous Infantry and the new Stomp attack, likewise some of the Monsters now profit from Thunderstomp, the new Lore of Beasts gives more power to the Bray Shamans and the changes to the percentage system means there is nothing to stop you taking a Beastlord and a Great Bray Shaman.

The usefulness of the Battle Standard Bearer also should help out with all the psychology tests and with big blocks of infantry you should be able to work out some Steadfast combats on a re-rollable leadership 9.

Bretonnia

The Bretonnians are somewhat of a quandary in the new edition. While they still benefit from their lance formation giving them ranks only 3 wide and the fact that the damsels now can see quite happily out of their Knight bunkers for spells using the improved Lore of Life, cavalry itself isn’t the all-conquering force we were used to. With a greater focus on infantry those Knights are going to be grinding out long combats with large blocks of footmen, something they will suffer for. Knights want to charge in, do a load of damage and bug out, something which has become much harder depending on your opponent. The Damsel’s magic resistance will also stack with Lady’s Blessing though so any unit of Knights with a spell-lady in there is going to have a 5+ save against direct damage spells, not bad at all really and while you can bulk out your army with oodles of Men-at-Arms that’s not really what the Brets are about. Although their Trebuchet is now the most powerful stone thrower in the game.

Daemons of Chaos

Everyone’s love-to-hate army of 7th edition changes quite a lot under the new rules. There are many who believe that the Daemons are done for, having lost all their power, while others are saying that while they have taken a hit to some of their builds they still remain a force to be reckoned with. The problems that Daemons have are no different from what they used to be, a lack of armour and all round low toughness on their core troops and the fact you pay a premium for those troops as well. Now that Fear no longer auto-breaks units from combat they are going to be in protracted combats for longer, with the steadfast rule being more easily available for virtually any opposing infantry unit, the new and improved Battle Standards and supporting attacks Daemons are going to suffer. However, they still benefit from usually high initiative and some decent special rules, especially when Heralds come into the picture, although these guys can get sniped out of units now. Plaguebearers are now almost useless due to the combination of Ward saves and Regeneration and their appalling initiative. Greater Daemons are still monsters (literally) in combat and can Thunderstomp as well as using their impressive profiles but are easier to pick out with cannons that can now pre-measure. ASF Daemonettes are still going to be sick in combat though, providing you can get them there. Tzeenthcian heralds with Master of Sorcery are now on the most useful spell casters in the whole game though. I still think that a properly constructed Daemon army will be tough to beat but the cheese lists of the past are exactly that, the past.

Dark Elves

The Dark Elves were probably the number one army under 7th edition. Cheap units that can chuck out a load of attacks, cheaper monsters that were hard to beat and a pretty tasty personal spell lore with some ridiculous magic items. Not much has changed. You are still going to see nice blocks of infantry, sure the Shadestar probably will never be seen again and their FAQ has changed a few things related to their magic items but these guys are still going to be strong. Cheap blocks of Spearmen are going to be a feature and the second rank being able to fire ranged weapons makes Repeater Crossbows even more deadly. Reaper bolt throwers might not feature as much, 2 wounds at T7 isn’t going to be that hard to kill now either. It is also possible for a High Sorceress as well as a Dreadlord to fit into 2000pts now too. Elves are still only T3 though and will still be outnumbered, they are going to want to really try to strip a unit away because of the number of return attacks they are going to be facing.

That’s it for Part 1 – there are fifteen armies to get through so rather than have one huge post I’ll be splitting this up into several Undead buccaneer friendly chunks.

Warhammer 8th Edition – My Thoughts


Well like many a good GW gamer I managed to purchase my copy of the new Warhammer rulebook recently.  I’ve spent some time and given it a good read and just wanted to share my first thoughts about the new edition.  I know that me and ZombiePirate have already discussed having a game soon to test it out, so this is coming from the perspective of a reader of the book, not a player of the new edition.  I’ve been playing Fantasy for . . . a long time and I currently own 3 different armies – Wood Elves, Vampire Counts and Lizardmen, and I have enjoyed using them all.  So coming from this background, here are my thoughts.

Game mechanics

The basics of the game haven’t really changed all that much.  I have heard some people describe 8th edition as “Warhammer of the Ring” as it was supposed to very, very similar to the War of the Ring game.  After having read both rulebooks I can see some of the similarities, but 8th edition is most certainly Warhammer and not War of the Ring.  The similarities that I’ve found so far are;

  • Charging is now random – 2D6+M, random but still based on the movement of the model.
  • Second ranks (and third ranks if you’re a horde) now give 1 supporting attack for each model behind a model that’s attacking.  But bear in mind that spear armed troops and High Elf spearmen have always been able to do this, it was just not called supporting attacks.
  • Buildings can be garrisoned.

The rest of the rules seem to be classic Warhammer Fantasy.  There have been a number of changes though, some subtle, others less so.  In an effort to make some sense of these I will go through them in the phases of the game.

Movement

This is an area of subtle changes.  You still move as normal, though wheeling and reforming have become easier and better clarified and you can also move your unit backwards or sideways without changing its formation, though you can only do so at half speed.  This is a simple change, but one that I think can open up a whole load of new options as far a strategy goes as you will no longer need to use up two turns of movement to reform in one direction, then move and reform again in another turn.  Compulsory moves come after charges, oh and difficult terrain has gone . . . well kind of.

Magic

Probably the part that has changed the most.  You no longer have set number of power dice, which makes the all magical killing army (often used by Tzeentch players) less reliable – you can only ever have a maximum of 12 power dice.  I’m not sure how this is going to work with Vampire Counts who kind of need the magic to keep their army together, but I’m sure that in the next few weeks I’ll let you know.  You are also restricted on the number of spells that your army can have as only the signature spells in the spell lore can be taken by more than once in our army.  So unless you can use multiple magic lores this could restrict the number and level of wizards that you use.  To compensate for this I have noticed that the standard 8 spell lores seem to be much more potent than in the last edition and they all have an attribute that can really enhance things.  After some thought I think this is going to be a better magic system; the fewer power dice mean that there will be fewer spell casting attempts, but when a spell does go off, it’s going to be nasty.

Other magic stuff:  Irresistible force also causes a miscast – though it is the only way to get a miscast.  Miscasts are really, really bad for the health of your wizard and anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby.  Oh and the dispel scroll can only be taken once, so bye-bye spell caddies.  Overall I’m liking the new magic system, but like I said with a bit of trepidation regarding the Vampires.

Shooting

Hasn’t changed at all, oh except that you now fire in two ranks – woohoo for Wood Elves!! I no longer need to stretch units out half way across the battlefield to get a decent number of shots.  Oh and all bow weapons can be volley fired if you don’t move – basically you get to fire with half the models from the third and further back ranks so you can deploy in a block rather than a line.

Close Combat

This is the other area that has seen some changes, but again I think subtle.  Combat is now fought in initiative order regardless of who charged (just like 40K).  Charging now gives you a +1 bonus to the combat resolution.  This is probably the most dramatic change for combat as charging a unit which high initiative could really undo your combat.  The whole thing is based upon the combat resolution, which hasn’t changed since the previous edition.  The only other really change is the edition of supporting attacks – each model behind one in combat gets to make 1 attack, unless your unit happens to be 10 models wide; in which case it counts as a horde and gets supporting attacks from the rank behind them too.  This means a lot more dice rolling, so I would expect that combats will be resolved quicker.

The Other Stuff

There is now a huge section on special rules, which covers all the old classics like fear, terror, stubborn and regeneration, but also a bunch of new rules such as sniper, stomp and strider.  The special rules section is large, but I think it covers just about every special rule, even some army specific ones like ethereal.  The comprehensiveness of it is great to see, lets just hope that as GW releases the army books that they keep with these special rules and don’t bring out too many ‘exceptions’ or rules that ‘sound like X but aren’t really’.

Im glad to see that the units have been clarified.  With greater numbers of Ogre size units (ogres, trolls, treekin, ushabti etc) becoming options it’s good to see that they now have a unit type of there own – monstrous infantry – with its own rules.  There are also warbeast, monstrous cavalry and monstrous beasts to add to the unit types.  And with the edition of the stomp and thunderstomp rules these monstrous creatures might actually be able to take on a unit of infantry.

There are a few other subtle changes to other things (such as characters and command groups) but nothing that doesn’t help the game play.  For example a general that is also a large target has his command radius increased from 12″ to 18″.

But the next ‘big thing’ that has changed is terrain.  There is no longer difficult terrain.  You essentially have open and impassable terrain – with certain other features (like woods and obstacles) being dangerous terrain to certain troops types.  Also some of the terrain is described as mysterious.  There is a chance that the river is just a river or that it is actually boiling ooze, or that the trees are so full of rage and hate that they’ll attack you on sight.  To be honest I’m not sure about this.  I think it might make terrain a little too unpredictable, and that you can’t rely on being able to just move through the trees to get a flanking position (yes this is the Wood Elf player in me talking).  I’m also not sure about the absence of difficult terrain and it not slowing people down anymore.

Finally comes my thoughts on the army selection.  Like many others I heard the rumours that the percentages were coming back, and to be honest I didn’t like the sound of it.  I have many memories of games a few editions ago when the percentages were in use.  The typical army would consist of the biggest, most bad ass general with all the best magic items, the most powerful level 4 wizard your army could have and two or three units of the hardest, most indestructible troops available.  In short not what a ‘real’ army would consist of.  People would cheese it out as much as they could, and the only way that you could ever have a hope of winning was to cheese your army out too.  I know that Warhammer is a fantasy is a game based in a fictional world, but a ‘real army’ would consist more of regular troops, with only a handful of elites.  This is why I liked the Core/Special/Rare unit slots.  After having read the rules I have come to realise that it wasn’t what I feared.  The Core/Special/Rare units are still there, but it they now have percentages attached to them >25% Core, <50% Special and <25% Rare, plus you can’t have more than 3 of the same units for special or 2 of the same for rare.  Also you can’t spend more than 25% of your points on Lords and no more than 25% on Heroes.  At first this sounded a bit odd, but after doing some thinking this means that you still won’t be able to fit more than two or three lords in a 3000 pts army (well unless you play goblins anyway).  I hope that this will reduce some of the over-competitive, cheese element and give armies a more realistic feel.

Overall I like this new edition of Fantasy (though I don’t like the cost of the rule book, nor do I think it needed so much info on all of the races but oh well).  It has stayed true to previous editions and is still different from 40k and War of the Ring, despite incorporating some of good ideas from both of these systems.  I’m interested to see magic in action and ready to see how the new percentages will affect my army lists.  So until I play a game these are my ramblings.

Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition – Impressions of the Book


The world awaits with a collective held breath. Tomorrow sees the general release of the eagerly awaited 8th Edition of Warhammer Fantasy, the book that can also be used to fatally resolve all rules conflicts. There are many fans who already have their grubby little mitts on a copy, legal or otherwise.

I took a trip out to our friendly local games store yesterday to grab my per-ordered copy as Thursday is delivery day. Due to being a normal(-ish) person though work has crippled the time I was able to spend perusing the Sherrif’s latest work. Going out last night to see Predators also didn’t help. Not trying to boast but I am quite happy that I have my hands on the book already, while my focus is still in preparing for War of the Ring I am looking forward to diving in and seeing what this new version is all about. Just like when Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 the new 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy rules build off what has already been in use for a while elsewhere. Mainly this means that certain rules that we see in War of the Ring are amalgamated. This isn’t surprising when you look at the Rules section which is handily attributed to Mat Ward one of Games Workshop’s most polarizing games developers. While his work on War of the Ring is considered very good just as many people would like to string him up by his manhood for the travesties his works in other games systems have been. To misuse a popular internet phrase, I believe the sentiment behind Mat Ward and his work is “LOTR or GTFO”.

While I am not currently going to comment on the rules themselves, I have afterall yet to give them a full read through, I will talk about the book itself. It is easy to navigate, the book is split into two sections, one concerned with all the rules for the game and then another for all the “bumf”. All the information for the background of the armies as well as painting, army building and conversion advice etc… Now, I happen to be of the same opinion as someone else that I was reading earlier this week. I’d be happier if they split the book into two. I understand that they want to give some background of the races for their world and keeping in a few pages would be fine but really there are that many rules in this book that you could massively reduce the size of the volume by splitting things up. People might be happier if they got just the rules for £20 or £25 and then they could choose whether they wanted all of the extra stuff and pay for it appropriately.

The new book really is well made, being in full colour and everything I have to say it is a quality piece of work. Yet there is a load of stuff that doesn’t really NEED to be in there and if someone was looking at getting into the game then they would be better off waiting until the new box set in September, however there is some discussion on just how expensive it is going to be. Producing a pure rulebook, even a soft back version, at a reduced price would be enticing to the market and bring GW into line with their competitors. Anyone that didn’t want to fork out for the (guesstimated) £60-70 would then have an option to grab the rules and whatever models they wanted to start the game with.

I’ll put up my thoughts on the rules changes once I’ve been through them but I still hold out that £45 is too much, despite the fact that it is a really well put together product. Once I have read the rules changes I’ll be more of an opinion on whether it was worth the £40 I got it for, but I must say that my first impressions are favourable.

Warhammer 8th Edition – Warning, Here be Pirates


As Michael Jackson posthumously said “This is it!” however, I don’t think he was using it in the same context as I am. Whether or not the 80’s pop idol knew much about Warhammer is a Rule 34 debate somewhere, yet we are mere days away from when the general public can get their greedy little mitts on the latest ruleset for one of the most popular miniature games on the planet.

From reading various sites it is clear that some less than honest punters have already gotten hold of the rulebook due to torrents that are already available, some have even gone so far as to justify themselves by the fact they have already pre-ordered the rulebook and are awaiting the Deputies to drop off their tome. Personally I find this behaviour despicable. I know that the new book will be out soon but someone worked long and (maybe) hard on these rules and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. If you don’t feel inclined to part with £45 to pay off the Sherrif for that work then the wonderful thing about it is, you don’t HAVE to buy it…. shocking I know, but that doesn’t then give you the right to illegally download it either.

*Knock knock*

Who’s there?

*The Internet*

Oh-oh

*But if you are a true ZombiePirate are you not the kind of brain-eating monstrosity that plys the international waters of the Intertubes for glory and plunder?*

Well, thanks for asking Internet. In short, no, all the software and music etc.. on my PC is 100% legal, while, as my moniker suggests, I do like a bit of sailing the information superhighway for booty I do not choose to get stuff illegally. I know many people who consider that if something is available for free then why pay for it? Well, I pose you this question, if you went to work and said they weren’t going to pay you, would you put up with it? If you do then you are the same as those people who produce items for consumption who do not profit from their efforts so why should they spend their time doing it? As our world turns because of money so people have to work to gain the money that allows them to survive, unless we can ascend to some kind of Star Trek like utopian society where everyone works for the betterment of the race as a whole then we are doomed to live as we do now.

Our societies thrive on the fact that each persons work and time has a value upon it which people are happy to pay for. Unfortunately many people decide that somehow this does not apply to them, I imagine that these people would be the ones who, in the Star Trek example above, would choose to lay about all day because someone else would pick up the slack.

Anyway, after getting a discount through my FLGS, I have pre-ordered the normal rulebook and am eagerly awaiting Thursday when they will be releasing the book to their pre-order customers. This is a little ahead of the Saturday date that the Sherrif is using to put stock on shelves in his own stores but this is an approved practice according to Nottingham. They’d just prefer you hold off until Saturday, I am quite happy we get it a few days early. While I am not expecting it to distract me from War of the Ring it’ll be nice to give it a read through.