Tag Archives: Warhammer

Asking the Big Questions; Metal Vs Plastic

Believe it or not, there is a universal topic that can divide gamers. It’s rare to find anyone that straddles both camps, normally feet are planted firmly in one ideology or the other. There are two main options and while others do exist the majority held by the first two camps dismiss any others into obscurity so that they are rarely, if ever, considered a part of the argument. What can this argument be? And how does it relate to the seemingly random image posted at the start of yet another diatribe from your favourite undead buccaneer?

The models that we play our games with generally come in one of two flavours, metal or plastic. Historically our metals were made out of lead but due to namby pamby european sensibilities new alloys are used in many cases. Plastic comes in many forms and formulas, from the hard resin style favoured by Privateer Press to the “normal” plastics we love from our friendly northern Sherriff.

When I first thrust myself into the fantastical worlds of our hobby it was metal models that dominated everything, plastics were virtually unheard of except for vehicles and some larger boxed sets. The boxed editions of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 introduced more mainstream plastic lines and (in GW’s case) the propensity towards plastic models has increased. While there are still plenty of metal models around no longer do you have to play a game where you carry a metric ton and a half to each game. Games Workshop have led the way with this and now we see such offers as Kings of War from Mantic being entirely plastic, Privateer have recently released their ‘Jack kits in plastic with troops and starter sets also having ditched the metals.

Plastic sets on the whole tend to cost less than their metal counterparts although the dastardly Sherriff is doing his best to rectify this with the oft maligned, inflation-busting price increases for which the Nottinghamshire-based villain is renowned. Yet, there are die-hard fans of metal models, I know first-hand from the older Confrontation community (before all this pre-painted rubbish) that the fact the models were metal was one of the great selling points for their range. The fact the models were fantastic also helped. Therefore the metal vs plastic debate tends to polarise the gaming community while supporters of one stick vehemently to their medium and vice-versa.

For example, esteemed writer and Space Marine suicide machine Servitob is a lover of all things plastic (quote not to be used out of context!). Show him a metal model and normally he goes a funny shade of green! I myself have tried to remain neutral in this fight, I’ve appreciated some metal models for a long time but the simplicity of plastics is a great boon when you’re putting together hordes of figures. However, I have now chosen a side due to an experience I had recently when assembling my Warhammer army. I don’t want to ruin the surprise of what is included in my Fantasy force I’m hoping to break out this weekend (only one model left to build!) therefore I’m going to leave some of my details deliberately vague.

Sunday afternoon/evening while enjoying watching the NFL coverage on Sky I gave myself the task of assembling all the metal models I needed for my army. These tend to take more time and effort than the plastics due to the difference in their construction medium. Some of the models I have in my collection are renowned as being particularly difficult to assemble due to small contact areas and fiddly parts. With plastic this is not an issue, slap on some liquid poly and the glue melts the two halves together and forms a solid, nigh-unbreakable bond. Superglue by comparison however, seems to buy the two parts a drink and then involve itself in an overly elaborate scheme to get the two parts to hit it off, perhaps over a romantic dinner at an expensive restaurant, walks on the seafront and romantic getaways for far off exotic lands. Eventually getting the happy couple to tie the figurative knot and bind themselves in a blissful union until someone bangs the table and they fall helpless to the floor.

Anyone that has put together a metal model will have their own set of horror stories to share regarding some fiddly part or another, a sadists idea of how a model should be split up for assembly causing almost suicidal thoughts from even the most expert modeller as the horrible maelstrom of metal, green stuff and superglue combines into what you hope is the way in which the model is supposed to look. It’s a bonus if you manage to avoid gluing any body parts in these situations!

By comparison plastic is a joy! No matter how small the part a dab of glue can hold it in position for centuries, even the death-dive floorward will not faze a bonding area smaller than a flea’s testicle. Luckily the majority of my Fantasy army is plastic, the same is true of my impending Dark Eldar. While the odd metal model here and there is almost inevitable (I have a lot of them coming up for War of the Ring) the joy of plastic really does stand in stark comparison to the sometimes brain-addling, super-human efforts required to get metal to stick to metal.

In many ways a plastic model these days is almost indistinguishable from their metal counterparts once painted. See below;

"The spikes tell you I is metal!"
Plastic fantastic! And no loss of detail.

I know some people prefer the weight of a metal model as it is harder for them to topple over but once they do go over you are going to at least bend that spindly part or even worse, see it plunge in slow-motion towards a spirit crushing impact on even the most soft of cushioned carpets. Unless of course you add even more metal than a road traffic accident victim in terms of pinning the living crap out of it.

Plastic provides many more benefits, with current modelling processes they can be as detailed as metal and are a lot easier to clean, trim and assemble. The great strides that have been made in this regard contributes to the increasing frequency of plastic models and I for one am grateful for this. I cannot think of a plastic model that has ever frustrated me as much as some of my metals have. I’m an almost 20 year veteran so would like to think I am pretty experienced in assembling these things by now and after all this time I can firmly place myself in the camp that unashamedly declares;

“Plastic is better!”

Warhammer 8th Edition – Exploration of Magic Items

Not only have we (very) recently witnessed the shattering of Azeroth and the changing of a world but a mere handful of months ago probably the biggest Fantasy tabletop game in the world underwent its latest major revision. There were a lot of changes made to the rules and, as with any set of changes, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth at the same time as some people were a little less dramatic about the state of their beloved game.

There were a lot of changes made, not least of all the increase in the number of pages in rulebook! Army building was changed with the new percentage system, meaning that in many cases the options for including Lords and Heroes increased. While the Internet was decrying this change when it was rumoured I don’t think it has turned out all too bad. With the increased number of magic items in the rulebook the ways in which you can kit out your heroes has also increased and I welcome this. Many of the magic items fill gaps that are present in some Armies books and while some of the magic items in those books became redundant with the new rules there are also some that became a lot better for their points!

Therefore I thought that for today’s post we’d leave behind the current spate of World of Warcraft posts and dive back into tabletop. As my own table is currently saturated with Warhammer figures, as a break from the painting and construction of my Fallen Realms (although I’ll need to build more ready for our next game), then perhaps we should take a walk through the different options there are for kitting out the bad asses that lead our armies to conquer our foes.

As with any unit that is added into an army roster, each character should have a role in mind. This should be something greater than just providing the Leadership bubble for being a General. While improving the leadership of the basic troops shouldn’t be underestimated in helping the rank and file to stick around in a tight spot, it should not be the sole purpose of a character that often has far more utility than a normal GI.

In any army list there are generally two options for Lords or Heroes, these are the Mage and the Warrior. While there are variations of these within lists these archetypes hold true for the vast majority of Armies books. If a character has a magic level it should be relatively obvious that the character is a Mage, these chaps are not generally much use in a fight, there are exceptions to this such as Vampires (of the non-sparkly kind), Ogre Butchers and Wizards of Chaos springing immediately to mind. There are also characters that blur the lines somewhat such as Tomb Kings and Princes, primarily combat characters that have a smattering of magic and of course items such as the Wizarding Hat that, while taking up your entire magic items allowance for a Lord, can give a surprise to an opponent.

As Wizards tend to have a defined role based upon their magic abilities and what spell lore you pick I’m going to focus my time on the more combat oriented characters. While Magic can and will win you games under 8th edition, if you are anything like me, nothing is as satisfying as a tooled up combat lord going all bat-poop crazy and smashing in faces. Many are the tales of titanic clashes between Lords as Gribblin and I have squared off to see who manages to get that killing blow (sometimes literally).

In the spirit of assigning roles to characters there are probably 3 main roles that spring to mind; number one, character or mage hunting, number two, cutting down troops and number three, monster or war machine hunting. Certain races characters can obviously cater more or less to any of these specialities and the diversity in Armies books changes where you might look for those roles to be filled. The Magic Items available in each list can also have an impact however, for the purpose of this investigation we are going to look purely at the BRB as these generic items are available to everyone other than those dirty, dirty Daemons and the diminutive Dwarfs.

Within any of these roles there are degrees of course, do you go all out offense, balanced defence or unkillable? Each of these options have merit and some may be better suited towards specific roles than others. How good the characters are at these roles will also be dictated somewhat by the race of those characters. A Human Elector Count is not as beefy in combat as a Vampire or Chaos Lord for example, but is also dramatically cheaper.

Let’s have a look at some items then. An offensive combat lord may likely take some items from his own list to improve his efficiency but the BRB itself has some pretty tasty items. The sharp end of combat is going to be in the weapons category, an all out offensive Lord is probably going to forgo the choice of armour or a ward save because he’s probably going to live in a unit where his armour is the warm bodies around him.

The Giant Blade can be a nasty surprise when going up against a poncy Elf with a fancy hairdo, however, 60pts for only one more strength than a Great Weapon might not be worth it. Sure you wouldn’t be striking last and your attacks are magical but you pay through the nose for it. Perhaps you’d be better off with a Potion of Strength for far fewer points to win that important combat.

Sword of Bloodshed isn’t too bad, if your Lord has a high WS anyway the extra attack are more likely to hit, more hits equals more chances to wound which improves your chances of crumping whatever it is you are fighting against. The Obsidian Blade doesn’t seem worth it but the Ogre Blade gets around the major problems of the Great Weapon (Always Strike’s Last) and is much cheaper than the Giant Blade. A High Elf with this would be a combat monster, with high WS, ASF and +2 Strength, could surprise someone who isn’t expecting it for an easy to swallow points investment. The Sword of Strife is the junior to the Sword of Bloodshed, slightly smaller effect for a cheaper points cost so can go on a Hero rather than a Lord or leave more room on a Lord for other goodies.

Fencer’s Blades provide an extra attack for being paired and certainly make the enemy easier to hit, however, I would think this item more balanced between offense and defence as while you hit more easily you are also more difficult to hit, the extra attack is the only real bonus here and therefore on a strictly offensive character killing build you’re probably going to go for something with a little more oopmh! Sword of Anti-Heroes would seem to fit out offensive character killer to a tee, yet, while this may be the primary role for our Lord we also need to consider how much use he is going to get out of his equipment. If there are no characters in a combat we are involved in you can still pick out unit champions but then you’re wasting the bonuses of this sword going for overkill or even being stuck taking out rank and file. The Spellthieving Sword should be left at home, considering a combat Lord will likely kill a Mage in one or two swings (and they generally can’t cast magic against you whilst in combat) robbing them of spells seems like a waste of points for your combat monster.

Sword of Swiftslaying provides one of the most useful special rules and a character with decent Initiative benefits even further from those handy re-rolls. If you have a character with a decent base strength (or one that is buffed from spells) this really comes into its own, especially in challenges which is where I’d imagine you’d be making the most use of your uber-character killer. Really the only other weapon worth a mention considering what we are tasking the Lord with doing and thinking of possibilities for weapons from a races own lists is the Gold Sigil Sword. Low Initiative races benefit greatly from this, not least for the surprise factor of striking before a generally faster opponent (usually an Elf).

To prevent this becoming an absolute behemoth of a post I’ll split it up, we can look at the other magic items options in another post, so, stay tuned for a further examination of the BRB items.

Conventions in Painting – Work Area

After a recent diversionary foray into building my 3000pts Warhammer army I’ve readjusted my priorities towards getting my War of the Ring stuff painted. Saturday night saw the recently expanded (welcome Carabus) 6 Inch Move team released from their individual cells to commune in one of the floating citadels grand gaming halls (Servitob’s lounge). It’s been a while since we’ve done so, so long in fact that Gribblin just stayed away and spent time with his girlfriend!

After a game of Firestorm Armada, we sat around talking about War of the Ring, in fact, Carabus and I were talking about it while Servitob and nBreaker were playing. This has done a lot to rekindle the fire I had when I first bought the rulebook, the fire that meant I actually had a fully painted unit for a game I was going to play prior to playing. In order to facilitate this change I have cleared my working area (no, the picture if not of my work area) and moved all my Warhammer bits away. I was going to fully assemble the Warhammer stuff to give me something to game with while I was painting the War of the Ring, but really, I’d be better off painting my War of the Ring and then assembling my Warhammer stuff. The plastics are pretty decent and easy to do but the off few metal items I have need more extensive work with greenstuff and maybe some pinning too.

After having cleared stuff away and had a tidy up I’ve reviewed the amount of space I take up as well as the amount of stuff I have out. Currently I have the Easterlings sitting on my mat along with my usual pallet and water pots (one for metallic and one for normal paint) along with a few tools. All my paints are stored in a little cardboard box and I put my brushes and tools in here when they need moving. The only paints that are on the mat are the ones I am using for the particluar model at hand, this means I have within easy reach the seven colours that comprise my Easterling paint job. This is a trend I want to try to continue as the virtue of a clean and tidy painting area is worthwhile sticking too.

The more crap we clutter up our work areas with the greater the temptation to move onto something else. It can be quite a daunting task looking over a fully ranked up unit let alone a whole army. As I’ve talked about before I’ve broken my army down into a structure that provides a range of things to paint. I already have over the 1000pts we’ll be using to play although the parts I am not using will stay safely wrapped up until we have played and I have therefore painted that 1000pts.

A clean paint area also means that I can find what I need, organising things as I have should allow me to focus on actually getting the models painted, the Easterlings have a deep wine red as one of their main colours, this is a pain to paint as it is quite thin normally out of the bottle and I thin it some more to get better coverage. While I have the unit arranged I can see how far I am through finishing the whole formation and while this may seem daunting to start with as each one gets a coat of paint for a particular area the workload decreases. I need to reign in my fickle nature now and continue to get stuff done, interspersing painting with some Mass Effect 2 should help keep me committed as I get a reward for having so much done, unfortunately that exact amount is a little arbitrary right now.

So Interwebz, I’d like to exhort you to the benefits of maintaining a tidy work area. Not only will this help you out in terms of reducing potential wife-aggro but should also provide a safer environment for all your loot. I know how frustrating it can be to not be able to find something so organising everything or even just sitting down and thinking how you could do it better is a worthwhile exercise in all aspects of life. Now that I’ve taken the time to clear things away and streamline what I have ready I’m looking forward to getting it painted again, at least until I make a start on those multi-coloured Haradrim infantry…

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.

What Makes Games Fun?

There is no mistaking that the tabletop gaming arena is getting crowded with competitors. While there have always been a number of companies who have made models it seems increasingly that these companies are now striking out into the gaming market by producing rule sets, Freebooter and Wyrd are just a few that spring to mind.

While this may mean that as gamers we have plenty of choice it also means that we have a lot of games clamouring for our attention. We don’t all have the limitless wealth that the our friendly Sherrif may think we do, so buying into every single game that comes our way isn’t feasible, although for some of us, we do try. Long-suffering wives see their beloved homes turned into galleries of metal and plastic in various stages of construction and painting, while us menfolk surreptitiously try to hide our latest purchase in among the forest of toy soldiers that is almost impossible to catalogue without an expert’s eye.

Some of the decision-making for what we play is based around aesthetics but nowadays we are also seeing innovation in the mechanics of the games, moving away from dice to cards or using cards to represent models and their stats rather than lots of chod crammed into a bulging rulebook. While choosing games to play is a deeply personal choice surely there are going to be some offerings and one game has the potential to not be as good as another. Some rules are clunky and difficult, some leave room for ambiguity due to poor language, others are the efforts of extensive writing and play testing and are a joy to behold. How do we know which games are which when we are making our decisions and how do we know what we will enjoy and be able to coerce invite our friends to play with us.

If we were to do a comparison between the offerings out there today we’d end up with a rather large post, there are certainly a large number of games I can think of available to joe public. A direct comparison between them isn’t always going to be possible either, while you could probably get away with comparing War of the Ring, 40k and Warhammer Fantasy as they are all games based upon army scale conflicts. Adding in Warmachine, Malifaux, Hell Dorado etc… would be unfair as they are skirmish games and therefore play differently. However, whether skirmish or army the one thing that I think unites games is that they should be fun. If you spend the majority of your gaming time poring over the rules then you probably aren’t having much fun, but if the core mechanics are easy to learn then you can get on with playing and things are much more enjoyable. Again this is a deeply personal view on things, I love games like Malifaux and Warmachine where you have a few models to play with and unit cards on the table in front of you give you everything you need to play and provide a quick reference to speed things up. Malifaux’s rules are wonderfully short, once you have the turn sequence and the concept of duels sorted then you can play, the trick to the game is combining the models in your crew, all the abilities and special rules are on the model’s cards and you spend more time with those than having your nose stuck in the rulebook.

Warhammer relies on you remembering a lot more, the rules are longer and more prescriptive, you can make yourself little notes so that you remember all the magic items bulging the pockets of your heroes and the numerous special rules that your army has. War of the Ring handily condenses a lot of the rules that we see in Warhammer and looks completely different. Warmachine has a whole host of options for you to use within the rules and you need to remember those, but the core mechanics are simple but rely on you unlocking the combinations in your army to maximum effect, I suppose it is a little like Magic: The Gathering in tabletop form.

But what makes a game fun? As this is a hobby we aren’t doing this for the work and effort required to assemble and paint an army, we are doing it to relax, to get away for a while in another world that allows us to (temporarily) forget our jobs and other responsibilities. While it is possible to take each element of our lives to extremes I’d like to think that some alone time is something we all do while not neglecting our family, employment or other areas of our lives. Anyway, enough of the heavy stuff.

What makes a game fun is surely an opinion rather than anything we can probably define. While I find both Uncharted Seas and Firestorm Armada to be fun, I prefer the spaceships, they are more “fun” as a game. I know others prefer US or even the 6 Inch Move blog nemesis Full Thrust, which is why this is interesting to me as gamers have vastly different tastes.

I think that on the whole Warmachine is more fun that Warhammer, however I enjoy both games sufficiently that I invest in both (although I haven’t played Warmachine in a while). I like Warhammer because of the sweeping battles and it plumbs different areas of my brain to the skirmish games I play. I love Malifaux because the mechanics are so different from a dice game and things can be far more brutal if Fate is with you, it’s a very different play experience to any of the other skirmish games I like as well as being totally different from army sized games. Warmachine is fun because you can use magic robots to headbutt each other into the ground and chuck stuff across the table. Each of the games that I choose to play are fun for different reasons and that is why gaming is such an interesting hobby. To my wife they are just toy soldiers or whatever, but to me, they provide different experiences that I can enjoy with my friends and I think this final point is the key.

Gaming is at its heart a social hobby, while you can play with yourself (pun intended) the hobby takes on a whole new and more satisfying dimension when these experiences are shared with friends. While sometimes we will whine about the dice deserting us, or a sub-par unit choice, or that cheesy magic item combo etc… each time I spend time with my good buddies thrashing out some fantasy conflict between zombie hookers and metaphorical personifications of axioms or whatever I have memories of fun times spent quaffing liberal quantities of Dr Pepper and sharing the highs and lows with a bunch of people who add something to my mortal experiences.

So, what makes games fun for me? I’d have to say it’s the people I play with, for me there couldn’t be a better bunch of nerds to share my time with!

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 – Top Posts So Far

So we are one year into our blogging adventure, and here’s a run down of our top five most popular posts:

Rolling in at positions 5 and 4 are parts of ZombiePirate’s excellent assessment of the effects that Warhammer 8th Edition is having on the army lists. Well researched and well thought out, the spambots have been paying close attention to these posts!

5) Warhammer 8th Edition – Army Power Levels Explored Part 3

4) Warhammer 8th Edition – Army Power Levels Explored Part 1

At number 3 we have a popular post by Gribblin giving his initial experienced eye-view of the release of Warhammer 8th Edition:

3) Warhammer 8th Edition – My Thoughts

Coming in at number 2 is ZombiePirate on the always complicated and convoluted subject of which army to choose for Warhammer:

2) Warhammer 8th Edition – Choosing an Army

…And the most popular post on 6InchMove so far is:

1) Firestorm Armada vs Full Thrust

Both are great games, but the fact that we prefer Firestorm Armada generated a lot of controversy at the time which places this post firmly at the top spot!

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,

Skaven eXtreme Speed Painting

6InchMove brings you the latest in extreme speed painting, from sprue to finish in under thirty seconds!

We do this kind of stuff so you don’t have to. Remember kids, servitob is a trained speedfreak / moron, your mileage may vary.

Don’t try this at home! (unless they’re not your miniatures)

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.


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.