Tag Archives: 8th edition

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.

Warhammer Fantasy 8th Bling Pimp Mr. T Edition


Kerrching!

The Sheriff keeps sending me emails to try and entice me into the gamer smack that is Warhammer Fantasy. By the sounds of it they’ve sold out of everything but this here sparkly bag of shiny goodness aimed squarely at either pimps or Mr. T. Not included is the floppy hat or cane, but carrying the bag might make you walk differently. Yo homie now you can GED wid dis muddafuggin game fool!

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.

Fantasy 8th Edition – Yes or No?


With the tabletop community alight with news and confirmations of the rules changes we will be seeing come 8th edition of Warhammer Fantasy things are certainly interesting. In the furore over the new rules there is also the various editions of the rules that are available for purchase. I am sure this is going to make a very profitable summer for GW. The Sherrif is relying on his customers jumping at the opportunity to grab the new rules despite the fact that this new book is 28% more expensive than the old one! I doubt there are 28% more rules.

GW has always been this way, reliant on its customers to continue paying its often exorbitant prices to stay in the hobby and for the most part we do just that. Generally you tend to find that people in this hobby aren’t exactly hard up and anyone that has been doing this for a while probably already has the majority of the models they need and only buy the odd thing here and there to increase their collection. Yet with the constant development cycle new models are released every few years as well as a new edition of the rules to ensure that we continue to expand and update our armies.

I have already made mention that when 5th edition of 40k was going through the same this we see now with Fantasy 8th I was really excited, we got Servitob on board with it and I really do think we ended up with a good game at the end of it. However, with Fantasy I am not so sure, it may just be the timing of it after this year’s price hike and the subsequent increase in the price of the rulebook. I don’t see any of the competition being anywhere near that expensive. What originally got me into Warmachine was a sub-£30 box that contained enough minis to fight with and contained a version of the rules. The rulebook was then less than £20 to buy and had all the rules for all the factions, an approach I really like, although I understand with the number of armies for Fantasy that it isn’t viable for GW to do it that way.

My words are not going to discourage people from picking it up, nor are they meant to, we all have our disposable income and choose to spend it how we will. I don’t have any right to tell you to go buy something or not, I can only offer an opinion. My opinion right now is that I am decidedly on the fence regarding this release. It may be the best rule set ever made but I do worry about a game that needs a rulebook bigger than some of the financial folders I can see on the shelves at work.

So Internet, answer me this, are you going to be rushing out and getting the new rules, or is the constant pressure the friendly Sherrif is putting on your wallet finally getting too much? Sounds like the ideal time for a poll to me;

Preview Warhammer 8th Edition – Prepare to sell a kidney…


In the time-honoured tradition of 6 Inch Move bringing you all the hot wargaming news much later than everyone else, I think it’s time that we reveal details of the Warhammer 8th edition release. Unless you are blind, deaf, mute and lacking any tactile sensations you can’t have escaped the fact that the new version of Warhammer is almost upon us. Internet forums have been literally awash with half-baked ideas about what Games Workshop are going to do with the rules and just how much it is going to end up as the ugly bastard offspring of 40k and War of the Ring.

While there are still no firm details about everything we will be seeing, there are certain areas we know a lot about as of today. The rulebook is an almost 600 page tome that could be used as an offensive weapon, picture the mental image of your average bandy-armed nerd clubbing someone round the head with a rulebook the same weight as an original Mini. For the privilege of owning this homage to the Encyclopaedia Britannica your friendly Sherrif wants you to part with forty-five of your finest Earth pounds. That’s without getting an army book or any models… I’ll leave it up to you to think if that’s fair against the competition.

For those of you feeling a little more affluent there is a collectors edition, a proper leather-bound book a good few inches thicker than the normal book and completely impractical to use for any gaming use or there is the Gamers edition, the rulebook accompanied by several over-priced templates and a knock-off of the Tesco bag I use to do my weekly shopping with. Both of these will set you back the princely sum of £75, again you’re not getting any figures for that price so if you don’t own any then you can’t even play the game for the rather large upfront cost.

Needless to say a lot of the stuff you get in the various editions will be sold separately, although after you’ve already sold a vital organ in order to purchase the rules who knows where you’ll have to stop to actually get into the game proper, especially with the Internet rumour mill spinning all kinds of tales that the new default army size will be 3000pts. I think it is frowned upon to re-mortgage your house or sell your firstborn in order to afford Warhammer…

ZombiePirate’s High Elves – Coming to an 8th Edition Table Near You (maybe)


If anyone actually read my post on Warhammer 8th edition and my ideas behind choosing an army to take to battle you can probably guess by the picture gracing the start of this post that I have made my decision. My High Elf book arrived last week and I sat down and had a read through, after spending a lot of time in the Vampire Counts while waiting for Maelstrom to get around to motivating themselves to send me my order, I was less certain that the Elves would win.

I literally pored over the lists and created two Vampires lists and only the one Elf list. On the face of it I thought the Elf list looked more versatile and fun to play but the Vampires are generally stronger, especially with the ability to bring back troops. I looked over the model ranges and was still rather indecisive about the whole affair… maybe I should look at Beastmen?

Yet, that was not to be, I woke up on Friday morning (looking forward to Salute on Saturday, I wanted to have a decision made before attending as that would guide some of my cash disposal efforts) and had my epiphany. Something that morning just clicked for the Elves, it felt right and I have learned to go with those feelings over the years.

So, there we have it, I am hoping to post up some pictures periodically to show progress. I’ve bought a few bits and pieces to keep me going but have come to the realisation that with 8th Edition out in July I have a little over 2 months to assemble and paint this lot. Luckily Elves aren’t known as a huge army and I am looking forward to the challenge. Watch this space for more info!

Warhammer 8th Edition – Choosing an Army


With the official announcement of what the Internet has known for months I thought I’d take a look at one of the core issues with wargaming and focus this upon Warhammer. Eighth edition will no doubt bring its own bucketful of changes that will cause the community to whine, moan and manifest their nerd-rage. Yet, for me, I am looking forward to the opportunity this affords.

As has been previously mentioned I resolved this year to get a full 2000pts of painted Warhammer on the table this year. As those of us in the big wide world of work can tell you, nothing focuses the mind like an arbitrary deadline. So with 8th edition appearing in July, looks like I have around three months to do this.. golly.

Has this pre-amble been building up to anything, yes it has. Just as I was saying in December that I had already started painting things have fallen by the wayside and I have lost interest in that particular project. My Daemons of Chaos while very proficient on the tabletop do not present a challenge to play, therefore I am looking at something else, something that suits my play-style and fits with my other criteria. As many other people may be considering getting into Warhammer for the first time or starting up another project I thought I share my own thinking around the process of selecting an army! One of the hardest parts of getting into this hobby I feel.

While I am tailoring this to Warhammer, as I did with my 40k army building posts, you can apply this to any game really and I certainly find picking a force a hard thing to do at the best of times so if I can help anybody, so much the better.

The process you use to pick an army can vary, I know the criteria that I use to pick something is vastly different to the way some of the others in our group work, therefore this will be from my point of view, hopefully the other contributors can then add in their own thoughts in the comments section.

First off let’s list out our options, knowing what is on the table is as good a place to start as any, in no particular order Warhammer has the following armies;

  • Bretonnia
  • Beastmen
  • Daemons of Chaos
  • Dwarfs
  • Dark Elves
  • Empire
  • High Elves
  • Lizardmen
  • Orcs & Goblins
  • Ogre Kingdoms
  • Skaven
  • Tomb Kings
  • Vampire Counts
  • Warriors of Chaos
  • Wood Elves

That’s a long list but shows all the fifteen armies there is to choose from. The first and most obvious way of discounting a large number of these options is to look at what appeals to you, now this is a thing in and of itself, firstly, let’s look at the model range, what armies have models that I like. Let’s copy the list again and mark out ones that I am not a fan of looking at the overall models;

  • Bretonnia
  • Beastmen
  • Daemons of Chaos
  • Dwarfs
  • Dark Elves
  • Empire
  • High Elves
  • Lizardmen
  • Ogre Kingdoms
  • Orcs and Goblins
  • Skaven
  • Tomb Kings
  • Vampire Counts
  • Warriors of Chaos
  • Wood Elves

There’s six armies that are already down, a third of the available options removed in one fell swoop. Next option, do I want a horde style force or a smaller elite army? A couple of the armies up there fit into the middle ground of these two (Empire, Vampires and Lizardmen depending on list construction). Let’s do the exercise again;

  • Daemons of Chaos
  • Dark Elves
  • Empire
  • High Elves
  • Lizardmen
  • Skaven
  • Vampire Counts
  • Warriors of Chaos
  • Wood Elves

That’s another three gone. Considering how slow I am at painting, large hordes of stuff probably aren’t good for me, especially if I am looking at having something ready for 8th edition release. I have another couple of options for what I can do next, I can either look at how I play and what I like or go for the whole army aesthetic, sure I have already said that I like the “looks” of these armies, but I do a much harder look later at the individual units in the range, what do I want to field and how do they look, I will discount an entire army if there are a few units I don’t like the look of. This kind of hardcore approach helps narrow down what I am looking at. Obviously with this being a force I want to paint and get done I want things to look right, the art side of things is as important for me as how the army plays.

However, for the next stage I know that I like magic, it’s fun for me and I do a lot better with magic armies, so let’s apply this new criteria to our list;

  • Daemons of Chaos
  • Dark Elves
  • High Elves
  • Vampire Counts
  • Warriors of Chaos
  • Wood Elves

Ok, we’re in a little more trouble here, I know you could class the Wood Elves as magical but really, the Lore of Athel Loren is a bit rubbish and you’re not really going to be taking an army where magic is featured highly in that army. This is possibly an extra stage of selection for me because I know the game some. So, looking purely at the arty side of things like I have mentioned I want to apply that now as really you can interchange this with your own ideas but I am giving an example of how I do things.

  • Daemons of Chaos
  • Dark Elves
  • High Elves
  • Vampire Counts
  • Warriors of Chaos

Now we are talking, I do not like the basic warrior models that you use to make Crossbowmen and Spearmen for the Dark Elves. The Warriors range though I do like, however there is some stuff you’d need to make yourself (the War Shrine for example) as there is no model for it. Stuff like this counts against an army for me and we also have another player in our group with Warriors. I could have at the start jumped on and discounted armies that are already in use by others in our group, however, if you have a large play group then chances are you are going to be doubling up, also I would never purposefully discount an army that appeals to you because someone else has it. After all, you are going to be stuck with this army and hopefully get it painted and on the tabletop, motivation is a big thing and if you pick your “second choice” you may well find you lose the inspiration to paint it and get bored. Not a good place to be considering the investment required for Warhammer.

I’ve already mentioned at the top of this post that I have Daemons and will not be finishing them, they are easy to play and you can play really badly and still win in some cases, this isn’t how I roll so we can give those the chop too. This leaves us in the position I currently find myself in, with two armies to pick from. Our winners so far are;

Vampire Counts and High Elves

There we have it, from applying play-style and artistic considerations I have narrowed things down to two options. So, what will I pick for my army? In the current climate Vampires are considered one of the top three armies and High Elves are not, so I could swing that way based on tournament power… however, I don’t play tournaments. High Elves have less models than a normal Vampire Counts army and can’t increase their units from summoning or magic so therefore would be faster to paint. Even after narrowing things down I have still got two options and just to annoy everyone I am not going to post my final decision here, because, in all honesty, I haven’t made it yet.

I have the army books for both of these forces, I will be working out lists for both and depending on which one I like the look and feel of the most, well, that will be the one I pick. Anyone out there in Internet land doesn’t need to follow the steps I have here, but certainly picking your first army for a game, or even just a new one, presents a hazard and can be problematic for the best of us. Hopefully going through things where today will provide at least some food for thought but really the best advice that can be given is to grab something you like the look of. If it tickles your fancy then go for it, you’ll find greater motivation to paint and play with it in the long run.