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.
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.