Monday, July 19, 2010

Early 8th edition thoughts.

I have played 6 games against 5 opponents. I have used Dark Elves against VC, Empire, Skaven, Orcs, and Beasts. I am far from an expert, but here are my thoughts.

8th Edition thoughts in general:

Magic is very random, but it's one of the greatest changes they've ever made. Taking a variety of wizards does give you an edge in the magic phase as it should, but not one that is going to make your opponent hate life. With normal rolls and some solid magical support, over the course of a 6 turn game, you should have 2 phases where your magic is very powerful, 2 where it's ok, and 2 where it's pretty underwhelming. That seems about right to me. Additionally, the various "levels" of many spells allows you to compensate for whatever amount of dice you take. It really works amazing. The best endorsement I can give it is this: If you go magic heavy you will deal with some randomness, but it can win the day for you. On the other hand, you can also take no magic and most phases, you won't suffer. It feels, after 6 games granted, incredibly balanced.

The new initiative striking system is very cool. It is really important to have a high initative, and lots of attacks, but it's balanced very nicely by the step up rule, b/c it's even more important to be survivable and whether he's hitting you first, or he's hitting you after you go.

Hordes have some merit, but I don't think you will see a bunch of them long term. I think you will see units of 40, but deployed 5 by 8 rather than 10 by 4. Most units that are cheap enough to field 10 wide, aren't powerful enough to want to field that wide. however, the new magic system, with all it's buffs, could change that a little.

BSB's are the new scroll caddy. You won't take any army without one unless you are an idiot. Even then, you'll probably take one.

The reform rules makes so much more sense. Quick reforms are cool and intuative. The fact that you can reform after winning in combat and chasing units down is great too. It really encourages you to be be aggressive as it doesn't leave you hanging out in the wind with your Driver out. That's so smart

shooting is much more devastating. Shooting in two ranks is amazing. My unit of 10 crossbowman take up a frontage of only 100 mm but pump out 20 shots a turn. That is amazing, and quite fun. This sounds horrible for close combat armies, but....

The board is smaller. The armies start closer together. While this isn't actually true, the ability to march even within 8 inches of an enemy (with a LD test), the fact that your average charge range (for an elf) is 12 where your max charge range use to be a 10, and the ability to do some other things means that you are much closer. I barely lost to RPA's Empire Gunline today. A lot of factors went into that, but a big one was me not just driving forward at his units. I tried to sit at the back, and paid for it for 3 rounds. When I finally moved up, I found i closed the gap quickly.

rolling lots of dice is fun

Terrain rules aren't as stupid as I thought. Forests are much different, but not bad. 2 cavets to this though. 1, I would never play random terrain in a tournament setting, or even in a friendly setting unless playing a buddy I played all the time and 2) the hill rule is stupid. For the NIYF tourny, we played hills as having a height of 1 foot, and a unit being partially on it was able to be seen and see anyone not behind a hill. I suggest everyone do this.

true line of sight is ok, but i Think it's better if you just consider models to have the same height based on base size. I don't like the idea of penalizing conversions or things.

The rules are so much clearer. As I have told many of you, I strongly considered leaving Warhammer for Warmachine b/c I was so fed up with rules disputes, unbalanced armies, and the complete lack of clarity in the rules. I have only played 8th edition 6 times, but I feel like I have so much more understanding and clarity with it, then I ever did with 6th or 7th. Charging is so smooth now. I love how you premeasure, as that way you know the roll you need before you roll the dice. If it's super close, you may dispute what you need, but it happens before the roll. This eliminates so much chippiness and bitterness. Simply measure closest to closest, agree on the roll needed, roll the dice, then move them in. Simple, obvious, and set up to drastically reduce the disputes and bitterness of the old system. I'm not saying I like every rule, nor that everything is crystal clear, but the improvement is much more than signifigant. It's an epic sized improvement, and it makes the game fun. Understanding a game makes it fun. They have made understanding this game much easier, and much more attainable. I love that. I feel like I can confidently list my Warmachine models on Ebay tomorrow and feel good about staying in Warhammer for the foreseeable future, or at least for the next 5 years.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Game 2 of 8th Edition

Played my second game of 8th edition today. It was a battle of 7th edition top tier armies, with my Dark Elves facing off against Fr. Jason's Vampire Counts. sorry this report isn't more detailed but I have my brother's wedding and small invitational tournament to run this weekend, so needless to say, I'm crunched for time. This was his first game of 8th, and would prove to be my first full game of 8th, as RPA and I had to end early on Tuesday.

I went with a different list than what I ran in 7th. I decided to go for an infantry based army, and back it up with a little more shooting than normal. My list was

Dreadlord: on foot with Regen armor and +3 Str Ogre Blade
Sorceress: level 2 with sac dagger
Sorceress: Level 2 with Feedback scroll - one use only, wizard must roll number of dice used to cast spell, is wounded on any rolls of 5 or 6
Cauldron: BSB, and some Khanite stuff, no big deal
20 spears with shields with armor pierce banner and both casters in it
10 Dark Riders w/ crossbows, yes one unit
5 harpies
10 crossbowmen
10 crossbowmen
20 black guard had general in it
14 witch elves
2 reaper bolt throwers

Fr. Jason went with a surprisingly fast VC army

Vamp Lord - level 3
Vamp BSB - Regen Banner
Necromancer on foot
30 unit of zombies
30 unit of ghouls
20 unit of skellys
10 strong unit of black knights
10 or 15 strong unit of dire wolves - classic bus with general and BSB with regen
5 man blood knights
Black Coach

I plopped my 3 main battle units in the middle: my Black Guard, Cauldron, and Spears from left to right. Outside the BG was a bolt thrower, and then a unit of archers deployed in the woods and the Witches on the extreme left flank. To the right of the spears was the hydra, crossbowmen, and the 10 man Dark riders. He had, from his right to left, hoarde of zombies, black knights, skellys with necro, ghouls, black coach, dire wolf bus, and blood knights. I won first turn and started trying to blast him. The game was pretty fun, with him doing quite well easy. In the end, I pulled off the victory. I think the keys were using my shooting to force him to come at me, using my harpies to pull his blood knights into an infilade shot by my bolt thrower, and the hydra. The key moment of the game was when my spear elves, who got charged by his dire wolf bus, rolled insane courage and held. this allowed my hyrda to counter charge and use his breath weapon. This negated the regen for the REST OF THE COMBAT ROUND, and I tore him to shreds, and then smoked his characters with melting wounds. It was awesome, and he had no way to recover after that. I found the combats a ton of fun. My witch elves were rolling (with the cauldron blessing) 36 hated, poisen attacks. It was sweet. They seemed like all-stars, but I think this is b/c they took on zombies and skellies. Magic was also a lot of fun for both of us I think, and didn't seem overpowered at all. he did miscast, but got off easy on the roll of 8, which failed to wound any of his casters. I did have quite a few failed charges, but the swiftstrider rule makes Cav fine, and striking on initative and stepo up made those missed charges survivable, where as in 7th ed, It would have been game over.

I am basically 1 and half games in, but I am very happy so far with the rules. The early forecast is that 8th edition has saved warhammer for me, and I am very excited about it. In fact, I registered for the Northstar this week.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Errata... yes please

GW has posted there much anticipated Errata that will allow players to convert their armies from 7th to 8th. Hopefully this has had some thought behind it, as some of these army books could be years away. I've been really happy with most of the changes to 8th, so I've got my fingers crossed, but I will checking this out with a fair bit of trepidation. If you want to check it out, go here

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back to painting

after a fairly lengthy break, I have once again broken the paints back out and am returning to work. No doubt this is in some part due to the emminent release of 8th Edition Warhammer. I have to admit, I was awful bummed about Warhammer a couple months ago, but since then, I've been pleasently suprised with many of the rules changes, and I am VERY excited to give the new edition a shot. We will see how that goes. My book, as well as my brother from Italy, arrive Friday, so I am hoping to give the game a test run by Sunday at the lastest.

couple quick updates from my painting table. The first is my Ogre Ninja. I primed him a rusty brown, and while I like how that looks with the skin, I am finding hitting all the cracks and crevices a huge pain. I will probably go back to black after this. We shall see.

After that, we a have a couple shots of my Malifaux band, the Ortegas. The Ortegas are coming along fairly nicely. I just have a little more paint to put on the Executionar, as well as finish off the bases. They look better than they do in these pics, as the glue was still drying when I took these. The last bit then is to fix Nino. He's a great model and a powerful piece, but what a pain. He is connected to his base by one little limb, and of course mine broke, so i am trying to deal with that now. Hope to have him done soon.