Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Missing the Point?

With all the rumours about 8th settling down, many people are sitting down and trying to work out what advantages or disadvantages their army will get in the new edition. We are getting comments how Ogres are a lot better now or how Wood Elves are a lot worse. The magic system is being scrutinised for the best methods of casting, or which is the best lore now. Abilities like Fear are being looked at and then crossed out as they aren't as effective.

But all in all, should we be doing all of this?

Warhammer 8th edition is a massive change for us as gamers as well as for Games Workshop. They have seemingly done the impossible, by changing the core rules which makes a lot of armies better. In fact they have done the impossible by making a large portion of the Warhammer Community like the 8th by changing the core rules. In the past this was unheard of and many wargamers would have left the game.

By reading the latest White Dwarf and listening to Bad Dice (as the Bens have spoken with Jervis) 8th edition episode you can kind of see the point that GW want people to be thinking about when playing. You can see they want to create an cinematic experience where people's armies are battling it out for fame or fortune, not because it's practise for a tournament. I think a lot of players who are experienced with tournaments, tend to look at things competitively and we should try and do that a little less of this. For example, there are a lot of players out there who probably have never used a Great Eagle in a Wood Elf army due to the Treeman and Waywatchers being 'better' choices.

I think we need to welcome the 8th edition with open arms and play with it for a while without a focused tournament view. It's this view that ruined 7th (along with some books) and we shouldn't do the same to 8th.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Overconfidence = FAIL!

Just something which has popped into my head recently is how being overconfident can lead to you loosing a game. This has all come about due to my new army for Warhammer - Ogres. Now I've had my beady eye on the hungry ones for a while now. The range has some fantastic models and the background for the race is nice, plus having an army of monsters is brilliant. But like many people, I've never really bothered with Ogres due to the book being one of the worst released by GW (which is of course a matter of perspective as I'm sure many people think that the Daemons or Dark Elf books are the worst for opposite reasons!). Under 8th edition Ogres get so much better and should be a fun army to use.

Anyway, where am I rambling with this? Well many people tend to over estimate Ogres because they are quite simply rubbish. Over the last year or so, I've faced Ogres twice. First time was at Heat Three and in my first game. I was playing a GW staffer called Mike who was playing with Ogres as they were the only things he had fully painted at the time. The army was completely wrong for the environment it was playing in (big blocks of Bulls) and I really had to concentrate because I was thinking "Easy Win, Easy Win". In the end it was an Easy Win (no offence to Mike as it was a nice game but his army was totally outclassed by my Daemons), but I had to concentrate. Next time was at the Destruction Derby where I faced another Ogre list which is more typical of what Ogre players take (Lots of small units of Bulls and Iron Guts) but as the event was a bit of a free for all, my opponent Richie had brought some Rhinoxes (normally not allowed as they are non official GW units). I was using my Daemons and a similar list to what I took to the GW Heat, but I went into this game being very over confindent, as my plan was to us my Lord of Change to cast Gift of Chaos (everything within 12" gets D6 Strength 6 Hits!) to roll up the flank with my two Slaaneshi Chariots (both with Etherblades, so no armour saves). Because I was so overconfident , I made no backup plans and completely ruined the plan by rolling like an idiot. This allowed the Ogres to counter charge and smash me up good.

So these should be a nice example of how not to be overconfident going into a game. Just remember, just because it looks like a rubbish army, you only need a few things to go wrong and you'll loose!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Warhammer 8th edition - It sounds good and looks good

You may have noticed on the Games Workshop website that the 8th edition of Warhammer has gone up for pre-order and it was quite amusing yesterday to watch the GW website groan and creak due to the frenzied traffic it got due to people pre-ordering. I've order a copy myself which was the Gamers Edition (bag, counters, etc) but when I noticed I had misread what the set included (I though it had the Engineer's Tools with it), I quickly changed it to the Collectors Edition which in hindsight I should have done in the first place as I wanted something special for my Birthday.

Anyway, after speaking to different people at my local store as well as GW Mail Order (as I was changing my pre-order) my opinion of 8th seems to be valid, which is it's a shake up but going to be loads of fun. In fact most people who I've spoken too have been very happy to chat about the game as a few of them have had to say nothing about it for a few weeks due to NDAs. I think I was on the phone to Mail Order for about 20 minutes just chatting about the game!

But onto more interesting things....

Firstly, Dan and Wayne down at Heelanhammer have just released a 8th edition show. Dan got chance to spend an hour reading the book and covers what he can remember and what he thinks.

Next up we have Bad Dice who are doing a live show tonight (Wednesday 16th June from 19:30 BST or GMT +1). The Ben's have had chance to play 8th edition and are doing a review of the book. Jump into the show to ask questions about the book, otherwise if you miss it don't worry as it will become a downloadable podcast over the next week or so. I'm hoping to chime in and have a listen.


Finally, Bell of Lost Souls have done a You Tube video, showcasing the new rulebook. It's well worth watching if you haven't had chance to see how big or nice it looks.

I think that's all I can say at the moment as I'm busy absorbing all the information that's coming out but I'm really excited about playing 8th. In fact I'm a little sad that once 8th is out I've got a 7th editon tournament I'm going to so I won't be able to properly get into the rules!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

I played 8th edition and liked it (or something that sounds like a Katy Perry song)

I popped down to my local GW this morning as they were doing previews of the rules. After an hour of being pestered by work and trying not to smack my head off a wall due to some of the regulars missing the point of the preview (by quoting the Warseer rumours and general minor bickering) I ended up chatting with the manager who took me off to one side and gave me a one on one preview. We used the models from Skull pass which had been set up to try and show off different aspects of the rules. Here's a summary of what I can remember as well as what he can remember (he's only had the rules for a couple of days)

# The phases are all in the same order, so magic is not the first phase!
# I didn't get to see this phase too well as everything was set up to fight but it seems that movement is similar to War of the Ring/Fast Cav so units can slide or shuffle around on the board

# Everything with a missile weapon can shoot in two ranks.
# If you have a bow you can volley fire which the unit can shoot with more ranks (I'm not too sure if it's one or more)
# If the unit is on a hill the only shooting benefit is for LOS
# Speaking of LOS, everything is true line of sight!

Charging and Close Combat
# LOS arcs are the same for everything now - everything has a 90 degree LOS
# Charging is indeed now base move plus 2D6 (or 3D6 if you are move 7 or more)
# You make your charge reaction before the charging unit moves and you can measure the distance between the two units
# Failed Fear tests make a unit WS1
#ASF + Higher Initiative grants re-rolls!
# Close combat is done in Initiative Order now
# The second rank can attack now in close combat but only gets one attack. Cavalry units benefit from this but only the riders in the second rank can attack
# Spears attack in an additional rank as well as the second rank. So spear armed units can attack with three ranks!
# Rank Bonus - Still 5 models to get a rank bonus but Ogre sized units get it from 3 or more models
# Horde Rule - Basicly double the number of models needed to claim a rank bonus and you get an additional rank to fight with (so 10 wide for infantry or 6 wide for ogre sized models)
# Stomp! - Ogre sized models get an additional attack after their attacks while larger models get d6 additional attack!
# You can wound anything with a to wound roll of 6! So S1 can wound a T10 model!
# War Machines and Monster and Handlers are different in combat now. When fighting you hit the WM or Monster as the crew hide behind them in CC (so you wound the WM or Monster). This info is a bit vague as I can't remember the details as we got disturbed when he was explaining and then moved on to the next thing. 
# Outnumber is gone!
# If you loose a combat but have more ranks then the enemy you are stubborn
# Fleeing is a bit different now. If you are Move 7 or more you roll 3d6 but discard the lowest dice
# If you flee through a enemy unit you take d6 hits instead
# If you wipe a unit out then you may take a leadership test to redirect into another unit near the flee path

War machines
# Guessing is gone. Place where you want the shot to go and scatter as normal
# Templates are now like the Skaven ones - ie no more partials!

# Generating Power Dice is indeed 2D6 and the opponent gets the highest dice as his dispel dice
# All wizards can channel more power dice or dispel dice on a roll of 6
# You are capped at 12 power dice
# All the core spell decks have seven spells
# Picking spells is as per 7th but you may always default to the 'zero' if you don't like what you picked, plus no wizard may know the same spell as another wizard in your army. So no more two lvl1 fire mages knowing fireball each!
# You can roll up to 6 dice to cast a spell for any level
# You add your magic level to your casting or dispell roll
# A natural 1 or 2 is a failed cast (which limits single casting)
# You miscast on a double six now but the spell goes off and the wizard takes damage as he struggles with the backlash of magic
# Miscasts range from bad to really bad - So a double one is a big 5" template centred on the wizard and everything takes a S10 hit!

So basicly the warseer rumours seem fairly spot on.

My opinion is, that I think I'm going to like 8th. It of course has been designed to encourage people to buy more models (I think Goblins with Spears may be a big seller as well as High Elf Spearelves) but it still seems like fun. I think some players who like to play with precise movement, etc may get annoyed with the changes and will see it as dumbing down, but most players should still enjoy it. I think the only rule I don't really like is TLOS but that's mainly because it stops people doing cool conversions.

I haven't seen inside the book yet but it's in full colour and is massive! The book was on display in the display cabinet and the glass shelf was bowing under the weight!!!

The book goes on advance order Tuesday and will come in three 'flavours'. Prices are all rough as the manager didn't know and was guessing. The 'basic' rulebook is all in colour, hardback and has 500+ pages of Warhammer and will probably be £45. The gamer set is the rulebook, a white manbag, plastic templates that look like brass etching, bone coloured dice, a calliper, and foldy out ruler and will probably be £60. The collector edition is the rulebook but with a leather cover and gold edging I think and is around £75.

So overall, 8th is a big change and very risky for GW but I really like it and I think most people will.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Summer Fun

It's June, which means half the year has gone and me and my family enter the birthday season with five of us having birthdays within 30 Days of each other (My Grandmother-in-Law, Sister-in-Law, Grandfather-in-Law, My Wifes and then ending with mine which will be my 30th!!!). Besides the prospects of too much cake and beer (as well as my wallet crying), it's going to be a pretty interesting period wargaming wise.

For a start we have June's White Dwarf which has something that GW haven't done for a long time. White Dwarf containing some actual bona-fiddle rules which we can use in our games - Spearhead. Spearhead is basically a expansion for 40K which lets you play massive tank battles. The idea is quite simple as the expansion is basically a collection of Spearhead formations which have a special rule (for example, the Tank Hunters Spearhead grants the Tank Hunters rule to any models in that formation) and a set of missions in which you can use these formations. It's been designed to let you play as just using Spearhead Formations, or to add them to your normal 40K army and play a game. I haven't had chance to play a game yet but it looks like it's a fun way of being able to use some of your models in a different way. My only criticism is that you have to get the Formations off the GW website, which I feel they should have included in White Dwarf.

Also in June's White Dwarf we have new bona-fiddle rules for the Eldar Night Spinner. Old hairy gamers will know the Night Spinner, but for those younglings it's basically the Eldar Basilisk for smashing Infantry. The tank has been around in the 40K universe for a good 15 to 20 years now but this is the first time it's come out as an actual model for 40K. Modelwise, I like it a lot and it fits in nicely with the rest of the Eldar range. Ruleswise it has been a bit of a turn off. Basicly it's the same cost as a Fire Prism (with similar armour and upgrades) and it comes with a Twin Linked Doomweaver as it's main gun. A Doomweaver puts a big pie plate of strength 6 hurt down, with the nice benefit of causing the unit hit to be stuck in difficult and dangerous ground. As an anti-infantry weapon it sounds great as it will cut up lightly armoured troops fairly easily, while also slowing said units down, so the rest of your force zooms around taking out other targets. But this is where it's a bit of a chocolate teapot for me, as it costs the same as a Fire Prism but the Fire Prism is so much better as it's good at both anti infantry and anti tank.

There some small snippets in WD for Fantasy and LotR players but not a lot, but we should see loads of Fantasy coverage next month due to the 8th edition coming out in July (just in time for my birthday). I'm hoping to have a rough game based on the rumours over the next week or so and I'll let you know what I think.