HE vs. Empire – 2000pts with 8th Edition

Andrew sets up his game 2

English Andrew was over on Sunday to try the new 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy rules. I’d been able to buy the rulebook at Jeff’s C&C at midnight on Saturday, so I had read all the rules there were to read before gaming. Not surprisingly, every rules section was different, and we found we were checking the rules often to make sure we had it right. So for now, we’re playing slowly…

I have to say that I’m impressed. The make or break point for me and Warhammer has always been magic. There’s nothing more frustrating than to put an army together, that’s well rounded, devise a strategy for it, and have everything go out the window because your opponent got some fucking, unforseen, magical item/spell – that screwed everything up! You can’t tactically counter random selection – it’s no fun, especially with Warhammer’s current imbalance in army books.

Start of game 2

But that seems to have been balanced fairly well. Your opponent can still pick stupid magic items, but the spells portion of the game has been enlarged with selection, strategies and fairness. No longer do you have to take 2 level 2s with dispel scrolls to avoid getting pummelled for 3 turns (that’s all!) of magical onslaught. I mean, it really was depressing to play High Elves, who are supposed to be good at this sort of thing, and get smashed every magic phase because I didn’t buy 400pts worth of mages, and your army just happens to be magically oriented. </gripe>

First Game Synopsis – Just trying to learn, we decide to play a pitched battle with a twist – Dawn Attack. Your side of the table is divided into 3, and units randomly show up in the centre or wings. With 2×20 units of Lorthern Seaguard, and 1×20 unit of Archers, I was shooting roughly 60 shots a turn at Andrew’s advancing army. (This, after I stole the initiative to go first.) I managed to whittle or eliminate the worrisome Fast Cav and Knights, and basically left Andrew’s 30 man spearmen and swordsmen unit to advance. But after his Spearmen successfully charged my Sword Masters, there wasn’t much point in continuing, as the SMs dished out 10 wounds, and probably would have every turn following too. I’d just whittled his army down too much. But Andrew wasn’t without his successes too.

The Empire artillery did not too badly, considering half of it was firing indirect. One rocket shot nailed 10 Seaguard (in 2 ranks!), and his Hellblaster survived the entire game – even smeared an Eagle on turn 1.

Second Game Synopsis – It only lasted 2 turns, and then we had to call it a night. There had been only 1 close combat, and Andrew had successfully shut down much of my shooting with his Iceshard Blizzard and Curse of the Midnight Wind spells – very limiting. But I didn’t feel cheated in the magic phase at all.

Overall, I’m happy so far. My other major army is TK, and they’re not going to fare as well with these new changes. They’re going to be striking last against practically everyone, and a wily opponent can really limit their magical incants. If you know you’re facing a TK army, you won’t get any of its relentless buff magic off. But we’ll see. And I’m eager to try. Warhammer is back on the game table.

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5 thoughts on “HE vs. Empire – 2000pts with 8th Edition

  1. Hi, hope you’re enjoying the new rules! I have to agree with you in some respects, it was ridiculous facing people with large amounts of magic (i.e. the 16 pd/turn Vampire Counts), and High Elves, even with the +1 to dispel, can’t handle that much!

    One thing I have found with High Elves is that Lore of Life is AMAZING! Either taking an Archmage with the Silver Wand, so that he gets 5 out fo 6 spells, means you can potentially make a unit of High Elves T7! Plus a 4+ regen, and even if they do die, you can always ressurect them with regrowth!

    Quick question though, is there anything you would really recommend to take against Empire? my opponent likes to favour a mixture between cavalry and a gunline. Sorry for the essay!

    • I don’t fear Empire anymore with the new HE. Our shooting is superior, and Empire troopers are the same toughness as us. I would auto-include a unit of Archers and a unit of LSG. Give the LSG the Razor Standard (out of the BRB) so their shots get an additional -1 save (better against swordsmen) and -1 to your 4 ranks of spears(!) when you’re finally engaged in close combat. I don’t usually see handgunners in groups of more than 10. Pick on the outside units – away from the general – because each concentrated volley should do enough casualties to cause a panic test.

      As for cavalry – bolt throwers on the extreme flanks are always good. After 1 turn of Empire movement you should be firing down flanks, and getting at least 2 kills for a successful shot. Armour saves aren’t allowed against bolt throwers, and they’re still T:3, so that’s 2 dead guys on rolls of anything but. For added mayhem start using the Lore of Metal – the more heavily armoured you are, the higher your chance of dying.

      Thanks for the Silver Wand idea. You’re exactly right – you’ll end up knowing almost all of the spells anyway, will probably roll doubles and be allowed to choose at least 1, and all for 10pts as opposed to the Seerstaff’s 30. That’s savings enough for a Dispel Scroll! Genius, thanks!

  2. Great idea on the Razor standard. But I just checked the rule book and it says that you can either use the armor piercing for close combat OR shooting but not both.

    • Actually, the standard’s rules state “models in the unit have the armour piercing special rule”… and unfortunately the rule for armour piercing states that models with the armour piercing rule only gain the additional -1 in close combat. To gain the additional -1 in the shooting phase, the WEAPON has to have the AP rule, such as a blackpowder weapon. I suppose you cant really have everything in a lovely Seaguard unit!

      Out of interest, have you tried using Ellyrion Reavers in the new rules? I used them last night and had them behind the enemy battle lines and shooting at close range in the first turn! The new rules for fast cavalry are brilliant now, most of all because they can shoot after marching, and get the vanguard move before the battle begins!plus, it helps that the new models from the Island of Blood boxset are absolutely fabulous :)

  3. Sorry guys – you’re both wrong here. If a unit has the Razor Standard, it has the armour piercing special rule, period. If that unit happens to have a missile and cc weapon, then both weapons get the rule because “Models in teh unit with the Razor Standard have the Armour Piercing special rule”. (p.503)

    The first paragraph says “Wounds caused in close combat by a a model with this special rule (or who is attacking with a weapon that has this special rule)…”, and the last paragraph says “If a model has a weapon with the Armour Piercing rule, only attacks made or shots fired with the weapon are Armour Piercing.” (p.67)

    The rules therefore for AP are applicable to cc and ranged attacks. Of course! There’s way more AP used in missile fire than with cc weaponry, such as the Biting Blade (p.501). This makes the Razor Standard especially good for Lothern Seaguard. =)

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