Friday, August 6, 2010
I've played 13 games of 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles so far. Here is my impression of the armies I have faced, in order how strong I feel the armies are based on my experience with them.
Empire. I only played on game against the Empire. I was able to take his war machines mostly out of the game and hit his Wizard with the 13th Spell while he was in a small unit of Crossbowmen. I wasn't too impressed with the Archlector / Warpriest casting abilities either. I think I would have been given more fits if he had more war machines, but I've been taking more units of Gutter Runners as well. The large blocks of infantry were at a disadvantage to my blocks, because I always struck first with higher initiative and similar statlines. I tied up Greatswords with Slaves and hit his shooting units with the 13th Spell (hit them instead of big nasty units because 1 cast would destroy a single unit), Gutter Runners, and fast flanking units.
Dark Elves. One small game vs Dark Elves doesn't tell me much about them in the new edition. This was the first 8th Edition game I played and it was only 1000 points. I definitely will need Gutter Runners to disrupt the lines of repeating Crossbowmen. I am really hoping for new Nightrunner models in the 2nd wave as well that I think will help close the gap. Again, not much to say with so little of the full strength of the Dark Elves on the board, but they were more of a challenge than the Empire.
Warriors of Chaos. Elite Infantry, tooled up characters, high level powerful casters, and that damned War Shrine. Warriors of Chaos were tough, but the game I played against them, the 13th Spell decimated his Deathstar unit and ended the game quickly. I am more worried about Knights in my flanks, and should focus on feeding Slaves to Chaos Warriors to keep them away from my caster units. Not much really unfolded in this game to show the true strengths of the Chaos Warriors.
Daemons of Chaos. Daemons took a big hit with the new edition, but I still think they are a contender. In the game I played and reported on, the Bloodthirster (or any other Greater Daemon) is a big threat. I actually think it's better for Daemons to take bigger units of core Daemons, because I think they got better (except the poor Plague Bearers). A Ward save and Fear army-wide makes close combat better, and faster movement gets them across the table faster every game. I used the 13th Spell against the Daemons to go straight for his core blocks and not allowing them to get to me. I think this was key, because his big stuff really couldn't widdle down my large units of infantry.
Orcs and Goblins. One of my three losses so far in the new edition have come to the Greenskins. Lots of war machines because of the new army list percentage system. Lots of large infantry blocks which is the strength of the new edition. Lots of points to spend on characters large and small without worrying about slots. I think the Orcs and Gobbos are much better in the new edition. For me, it was about focusing on one unit at a time, protecting my flanks from chariots and boars, and slowing down the big hordes. I have won 2 out of three vs Orcs and the games I won were because I succeeded in my game plan, and because in both games I won the large and unwieldy units had trouble maneuvering around terrain. Both times against different opponents I was able to use impassable terrain to protect my units, and is also why I would rather run deep for Steadfast than wide for Horde formation.
High Elves. High Elves are pretty tough with always striking first and lots of great weapons in the army. In an 'Ard Boyz situation they may arguably have the best magic with Teclis. I have played the pointy ears 4 times. One loss at 1500 points, a draw at 1500 points, and a draw and a win at 3000 points both against Teclis. Teclis is ridiculous, but I survived him both games. Otherwise my focus against High Elves was to use my Gutter Runners to attack bolt throwers, eagles, and archers. Also I used by big nasty stuff on the flanks to take care of chariots and cavalry. I tried not to ever engage head on, because I would get chopped down by ASF great weapons. I tried to always have support when actually engaging. The 13th Spell is excellent vs the High Elves because they like the elite MSU's. I like turning those units into rats! 4d6 dice does take a huge chunk out of the big blocks, but for me it's about removing a whole unit (even if it is a much smaller unit) at a time. This causes the panic tests, and ensures victory points that are only awarded for entirely destroyed units.
Lizardmen. The toughest army I've faced in the new edition. I've won one and lost one. Both games were decided by magic, when in the first game I turned his Slaan into a Clan Rat with the 13th Spell, and the second game I vaporized my Grey Seer with a instant death miscast result. The game collapsed from there but I still learned a lot. Cannons vs Stegadons... VERY NICE. Template weapons hit all parts of a model, so that strength ten Warplightning Cannon shot I just rolled? Good-bye Stegadon. The Slaan magic though makes him king of the magic phase when special characters (Teclis and Karos) aren't on the board. Adding a die to every spell cast, making your caster's 6's not count within 24" (so I'll just have to take 2!), and transferring miscasts to your enemy are some powerful attributes. Combined with Life magic is probably were the Lizardmen are their strongest. For me, I tried to focus on one side of the board and dance on that 24" line with my Grey Seer to actually get my spells off. Beware of poison Skink attacks on your big stuff. Those piddly little Skink units are actually high threat priority if you don't want your monsters to end up as pin cushions.
I still need to face a lot of armies to get a good grasp on what they have got in the new edition. I am at least happy with the fact that the armies I have been playing are considered the "tough" or "upper tier" armies. I'm glad I was able to get a game in vs the Empire, but I want to find a gunline to test myself against. Speaking of gunlines, I think the army I want to face most now is Dwarves. I know I will be marching through a hail of missile fire to get to them, but I need to practice some anti-Dwarf tactics.I have also NEVER played against another Skaven army. I'm looking forward to a mirror match to really test out my unit choices versus another Warlord's army building style.