I painted this Rhino right after the first regular Blood Angels one. I like it and all, but I get the feeling that something as scary as the Death Company should come charging out of a Land Raider, or Storm Raven...perhaps just pop out of something terrifying like a real live rhino. A Rhino tank just seems a bit small to deliver such a mean bunch of dudes.
Then again, I guess the A-Team van wasn't that intimidating compared to the meanness it delivered to bad guys...
I wanted the guy on top to look like he's busting out of the top hatch of the Rhino, eager to get to the enemy and hit them with some swords. Seems like a DC kind of thing.
I finished this Rhino a couple weeks back. I want to make my Blood Angels Rhinos a bit more "arty", with more than just red paint and the Chapter symbol. What I came up with was the half blood drop with one wing covering the top. I've never done any larger freehand before, so it was a bit scary going over the reds that I had just been shading and highlighting. Nevertheless, it came out pretty well. I plan on working on another Rhino to finish the other half of the blood drop and wing.
I've started the project of painting the Terminators from the board game Space Hulk. Eventually, I will add these models into my Blood Angels army, but have not yet determined a method by which I will make the bases detachable so that I can use them for 40K and Space Hulk.
So far, I'm using a unique system to determine what order to paint these models in. I have decided that whichever model performs particularly well in each game played will get painted first. This is Sergeant Lorenzo, who in our first (recent) game of Space Hulk held off waves of bad guys with only his sword and some very lucky dice rolls. He earned his paint.
I am particularly pleased with the face of the model, where I managed highlighting, a decent eye, and some sharp teeth. I also remembered to drill out the gun, which I always forget, and I think the greens came out really nicely. The red armor is a bit flatter than usual, because I forgot to highlight in my usual way before working on details, and thus had to fix it in small batches as I went.
More Space Hulk models will be incoming, so stay tuned!
Okay, not that Lysander. More like the gentleman in the yellow Terminator armor.
There we go.
I'd like to toast again the model that I consider the most fun to play with in 40K-land: Darnath Lysander.
For background, I'm not a great 40K general. While I always play my hardest in Fantasy, there seems to be something about 40K that inspires me to really go for cool fights and explosions. I enjoy those cinematic moments more than anything, and I seem to believe that my models can do anything. I have a scout sergeant who has killed Abaddon, Hive Tyrants, and the like. I put him in those situations intentionally. My mind just tends to gloss over all the times he's died.
Lysander does amazing, heroic things on the battlefield, and that's why I like playing him in my lists so very much.
Case in point was my second game at this previous weekend's 40K tournament. Lysander, seven Assault Terminators, a Crusader, and a Vindicator were lined up across from a good half of a Dark Eldar army. There were Raiders, Ravagers, Incubi, Wyches, Warriors, and Duke Sliscus. I knew that Lysander must take on the challenge.
In I charged, and was promptly counter-charged by the Incubi and Wyches, after sustaining casualties from an unholy amount of fire. The Terminators fell nearly to a man, leaving only one TH/SS Terminator and Lysander with two wounds, as well a the Crusader and Vindicator both immobilized.
It was time for a big Lysander-type move, so I fired the Vindicator just past his combat into Duke Sliscus and his warriors. The blast scattered back into the combat, killing all the incubi, several wyches, and still knocking the Duke's squad around. Lysander stayed standing, and went on to fight off every Dark Eldar on his side of the board, finally finishing off the Duke with one wound left. He was, in short, a beast.
I should note that not only was my opponent a perfect sportsman, who did not even flinch when the blast scattered in and changed the face of the combat, but he was also a better general, edging me on objectives at the end of the day and taking a minor victory in the game. Despite the loss, the game itself was a high point of the day for me, in that I had a good opponent, and Lysander got to do some crazy, cinematic things, which is what makes 40K great for me.
This past weekend had not one, but two 40K Toys for Tots Tournaments here in the RDU, North Carolina area. I participated in one over at Sci Fi Genre in Durham, along with nine other people. I took Lysander and his friend Pedro Kantor at 1750, and had a great time, with Lysander as always bringing his "Hulk Smash!" skills to the table. I tabled my opponent (Dark Eldar) in round one on kill points, took a minor loss in a five objective scenario in round two (also vs. Dark Eldar), and got tabled in round three against Space Wolves. I did, however, get the best painted army prize for the tournament.
The real win came in seeing all the loot that was collected.
What a great event, and I'll look forward to it next year!
My wife teaches second grade, and is talking to her kids today about blogging. Luckily, this blog is one never-ending family friendly experience, so it's good to go. I'm going to take some models down to the class to show the kids, and talk about blogging. Once I get bored, I'll just start to ramble and make things up, so odds are that what most kids will take away from school today is that I once wrestled a bear.
Tonight, I'm hopefully playing a little Space Hulk at my FLGS. I have the latest edition of the game, but only got to play it briefly once or twice when I first got it. So when I got the opportunity to try a big game of it this evening, that seemed like a good plan.
Eventually, I'd like to get my set painted up. I know the Blood Angels will go to good use on the game table as part of an army, but I'm don't foresee Tyranids anywhere in my future. On the other hand, a very nicely painted Space Hulk set would be a great accomplishment.
I cranked in a few more unmanageable power weapons for the second half of the squad. I couldn't leave any of the cool stuff on the sprue. I made the thunder hammer one handed, and there are a couple power weapons as well. A couple melta guns and the like round things out. Sure, we'll have a little counts as going to pull the squad below four hundred points, but right now I figure it could take down just about anything that gets in its way, so that's fun. I figure it'll be nice to pick and choose with smaller DC squads out of the ten options, and then pack them in with a Chaplain type friend.
I should have put this up earlier, but got busy last week. For those of you who haven't listened to a little Brohammer yet, or missed the first episode, you'll want get on over to http://brohammercast.blogspot.com/ and download now, or do so on Itunes. It's a quality show!
They've got some new segments:
-2 Engineers, 1 Cop: 'nuff said
-Work in Warhammer:
Long segment where Tom talks about getting some work done on his vintage Wood Elf army. Kevin talks about trading and Erik talks about commision work
-Coming Events Section
-BRAND NEW ** SARS Section:
We talk about tricky rules and cheater dice!
Because Bestigors are really, really expensive. Seriously, Eighth Edition made big blocks of infantry awesome, and that's been a lot of fun, but the cost of armies has gone way up along at the same time. A block of thirty Bestigors is about $120 U.S. at retail. I use a couple of these "herdstones" in each unit to fill the unit out, without breaking the bank.
The stones themselves were easy to make. I took some oven-bake clay from the local craft store, and molded the shape out. After they baked, I painted them in stone colors, and then put a little dab of bloody rune on each one. They're on fifty millimeter bases, so each represents four Bestigors in a unit. I space them out in the second-fourth ranks, and they fit in really well.
I will most likely do something like this for all future armies, like flagellants dragging a shrine, etc. It saves me some money, and adds a little something extra to the army, so everyone wins!
Painting the Death Company has been amazing. After painting one hundred Gors, being able to really focus on detail work and high quality has been a ton of fun. The models are incredibly detailed. My first five DC are armed with two power fists, a power weapon, a plasma gun and two hand flamers. Optimally equipped? Not so much, but I wanted to use all the bits and bobs on the sprue, and I a) won't use all ten of the DC regularly and b) am not worried about WYSIWYG for things like the hand flamers.
Also, check out the photo...as me taking pictures goes, it's not too terrible. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of things.
After painting the one hundred Gors, I got a little tired. It's always nice to have some characterful models to paint after working on a big batch, so I started with Charles Sharkley from a couple posts back. He was still a bit Gor-like, and I really wasn't feeling up to doing a squad of something, but I knew I had to get some Blood Angels done.
Enter the Death Company.
I put together ten models, with parts mixed between the Death Company box and an Assault Squad box. Every single model is like painting a character. They have details upon details upon details, with cool weapons to spare. What an awesome kit. I've base coated them all, and am now painting them one at a time. Thanks to GW and the designers for an awesome painting and modeling experience!
I was lucky enough to pick up a Dark Eldar Codex last night. Since I have a large Dark Elf army in Fantasy, the book has a lot of attraction for me. I grabbed an Archon model while I was at it, so we'll see how far this flight of fancy takes me. More on the book next week!
Full Disclosure: This is the model "Rumscratch" from Reaper Miniatures. However, the moment I laid eyes on the model, I knew that he would be a part of my Beastmen army. I mean, he's a dwarf. And a Pirate. And a Wereshark. I'll give you a few minutes to take in the majesty that is...Charles Sharkley, Sharkagor.
My first fifty Gors are now finished and based. Here's the picture of numbers one through twenty-five. A few notes:
* I went with orange fur, and purple cloth on the "clothes". This fit into my "He-Man" Beastman theme, and also just makes them look different from the tired "dirty brown and gray" paint scheme that I had before.
* The banner is a Beastman banner with the odd skull head. It's one of the few non-other army banners I have so far, as I'm trying to get a lot of "despoiled" banners in there. The design is supposed to look like someone smeared blood and other such fluids on it nonsensically.
* The basing is sand, followed by patches made from a mixture of light green and yellow grass.
I hope you like them. As always, comments and criticism are welcome.
It happened almost a month ago, actually, but this little blog o' mine has been around for a year now. 365 days and almost 240 posts later, it's been good. I hope you crazy kids have enjoyed it as well.
A few weeks ago, I decided I really didn't like my Beastmen paint scheme. My army is flesh and brown with green leather...it's a fairly typical GW Beastman paint scheme, and maybe that's why it didn't appeal to me. I've also gotten really tired of working with my homemade snow, as it's a pain in the butt. So I'm stripping down my models, and repainting like a fiend.
For some awful reason, I decided I'd paint my one hundred Gors first, so as to get them done. The basic scheme was to have regular flesh, orange fur, and purple paints, a la your hero and mine:
Well, maybe not quite so orange.
So I lined 'em up, and got to work. Each model got one of each coat as I went through. The basic process went:
2. Orange fur
3. Silver Metal (weapons and such)
4. Brown woods
5. Off white horns, hooves and bones
6. Purple leathers
7. Bronze for the ornamentation.
8. Red Eyes
9. Flesh Wash
10. Sepia Wash
11. Face Paint Details
It's been some madness, but I've finished with step nine at this point, and am on the home stretch. It's been three weeks, give or take, painting about two evenings a week while my Mrs. watches television or works on her work. I'm lucky enough that I have a temporary painting area set up nearby.
With this many models, you have to be able to sit down and make yourself paint. Having something else going, such as a conversation or television show, is also crucial to getting through everything. I suggest trying to do a coat on all of your models at once, as when I split it up I didn't feel like I had made any progress, and didn't want to come back to painting.
So yeah, pictures should be up by the weekend. Hope you enjoy them!
I'd like to take a minute to shout out a few of the upcoming tournaments and events in the area I think you might like heading over to partake in. Dates and links are listed above, just below the blog header.
Sci Fi Genre's annual Thanksgiving WFB tournament is scheduled for November 6th. Last year's Chaos Turkey is, I'm told, not going to be in attendance. Instead, the theme is "pilgrims v. natives", with the "civilized" and "savage" races of the Old World and beyond slugging it out. It's always a good time!
On November 13th, The Cage will hold its annual Games Day. Two cans of food are needed for entrance, and the proceeds all go to local shelters. It's a great way to see a lot of cool games and give to the needy at the same time.
Speaking of giving, local player Matt J. will hold a Toys for Tots 40K Tournament at All Fun in Games on December 4th. The entry fee is one toy, and all the proceeds will go to Toys for Tots for needy children this holiday. Once again, this is a great way to give while having a great time!
Any time that I can let people know about an awesome new podcast, plug a friend's work, and use a picture of hammer pants, life is good. Brohammer, a product of North Carolina locals Erik and Kevin Lindley, released its first episode the other day.
I am both proud of this model, and a bit sad with him.
I made the banner out of green stuff. Rolled it up with a small pen, cut it out, etc. It was really neat stuff. But then I can't freehand to save my life. I ended up putting the green tear over a fiery background because I'd made a mess of a simple grail about five times (note: I've cleaned up the extra green streak on the bottom of the tear).
Still, this was a great one to paint. He was one of the original models I bought when I got back in to 40K years ago, and had just never been painted, so taking a spot as a decorated Sergeant seemed appropriate. He'll fill out his squad of ten assault marines, giving them a combination of two meltas and a power fist. I hope to get a companion squad or two painted, followed by Rhinos.
I've always been a fan of the melta gun, and nobody will tell you these days that they aren't great for 40K, what with the Mega Mech Madness (patent pending) going down on every table. I ordered up some of the melta bits packs from ol' GW a while back, so I can promise that the Blood Angels won't lack in this department.
The temptation with an army like the Blood Angels or Space Wolves is to name every model, to give each one a saga or story. I like that a lot. They're a little more flavorful, at least to my mind, than my Imperial Fists (an exercise in painting yellow) and my Raven Guard (my first army...okay, I like them a lot too). I was initially attracted to Space Marines way back when because of the idea of big giant armored guys crashing into the enemy lines, guns blazing and swords hacking, and because of variations like the Wolves and Angels I've never been tempted to leave. Sure, some people will say that's a bad thing, but I've know what armies I liked in 40K for years and years.
Okay, so I have a new plan. Get some posts up on Sunday night so that they're prepped for the week, when I won't have time to post. As plans go, it's a good 'un. Execution will be the key.
As I noted earlier, I've started painting Blood Angels. The army won't hit the table until it's painted (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). The idea is just to roll up (in about a year or so) with a fully painted Blood Angels army and plop them down.
Right now, we're at a squad. Blood Angels Assault Squad Tabbris to be exact (Rhino not yet included). These are the rank and file. I stuck with the green metallic shoulder trim, and personal heraldry on the knee pads. Fourth Company all the way!
The thing that scares me right now is the temptation of the new, gorgeous Dark Eldar. I have a nicely painted 8,000 points of Dark Elves, and I think it'd be kind of neat to paint some Dark Eldar in a similar scheme. Nothing like having too much on your plate and piling on.
It would help, so I hear, to actually put the ETC Comp system up when I say I will. Anyway, I think this may be a bit overkill, and I don't particularly like some of the sweeping game changes they've made. Enjoy the read, and let me know what you think.
At ETC we will be using a LOS system. AR.com will present two alterative systems with this rules pack and asks the captains to playtest both before making a recommendation. This can be found in the following thread on The Warhammer Forum.
- Steadfast is removed if a unit is disrupted.
- Units with at least one full rank cause Disruption.
- Characters will get "look out sir" versus the following spells that automatically kill models or automatically remove an entire regiment: Dwellers Below, Final Transmutation, Dreaded 13th, Infernal Gateway 11-12 effect. Normal requirements for lookout sir apply.
General Restrictions: 2400 Points.
No Special or Named Characters.
Armys can be selected from any of the currently published GW Army books.
A maximum of 4 identical core choices may be taken (regardless of equipment and other upgrades).
A maximum of 5 warmachines may be taken per army
Unit sizes of are limited as follows:
- Non-infantry units (including monstrous infantry): Maximum 12 models/unit
- Infantry costing 5 points or less: Maximum 40 models/unit
- Infantry costing 6-9 points: Maximum 30 models/unit
- Infantry costing 10 points or more: Maximum 24 models/unit
Magic Restrictions: - Apart from Winds of magic and Channeling, an army may only generate 2 PD/DD per magic phase.
- You may have units/abilities that actually would generate more than 2 extra dice, but any excess dice are lost
- Some magic items/abilities count as generating dice toward this limit.
- “Count as” items/abilities may never exceed a cumulative 2PD/DD per phase. This means that if you take the power scroll, you may not take any other items that “count as adding PD/DD”
Item restrictions: - Power Scroll counts as generating 2 PD and 2 DD each magic phase
- Each Loremaster ability counts as generating 1 PD each magic phase
- Items that auto-dispel a spell counts as generating 1 DD each magic phase
- Folding Fortress is not allowed
Army Specific Restrictions:
Beastmen: No Restrictions
Brettonians: Trebuchet is a 0-1 choice
Dark Elves: Hydra is a 0-1 choice
Dwarfs: Anvil of doom counts as warmachine; Grudge Throwers are a 0-2 choice; Max +4 dispel dice instead of +2
Daemons of Chaos: Flamers are a 0-1 choice. Siren Song may only be taken once
Empire: Steam Tank counts as warmachine; Tank, Rocket battery and Engineers are a 0-1 choice
High Elves: Book of Hoeth counts as generating +2PD and +2 DD; Shard and Crystal as +1DD/phase
Lizardmen: Salamanders are a 0-1 Choice; Terradons, Chameleon Skinks and Stegadons (any kind) are 0-2 choices; Beclaming cogitations counts as generating +2DD, Cupped hands as +2PD/phase.
Ogre Kingdoms: No Restrictions
Orcs & Goblins: No Restrictions
Skaven: Hell Pit Abomination is a 0-1 choice; Gutter runners are a 0-2 choice; Engineers are a 0-3 choice
Vampire Counts: Wraiths and Varghulf are 0-1 choices
Tomg Kings: No restrictions
Wood Elves: Wand of Wych Elm counts as generating +1 DD/phase
Warriors of Chaos: Hellcannon is a 0-1 choice. Infernal Puppet counts as generating +2DD /phase; Tendrils of Tzeench and Conjoined Homonucleus all count as generating +1 PD/Phase.
The following explanatory notes also accompany the restrictions:
1) The "removal of steadfast if disrupted" and the unit size limits are there because we see "bunker armies" as an emerging problem. This is particularily problematic in an ETC context, where playing for draws is a legit (indeed advisable) strategy. To this extent we have also decided that the Folding fortress allows too many "abusive" things for defensive armies. Hopefully, these changes will lead to a more dynamic game. The "one rank to disrupt" is a rule that is intended to make cavalry a viable troop choice for ETC armies.
The principle of capping dice generation has been chosen for two reasons: It works regardless of rolls on winds of magic/channeling (a generic dice cap makes some armies extremely powerful when WOM rolls are low) and because it gives us a tool to restrict powerful items.
This works as follows.
a) An army that takes items/abilities that allow them to generate more dice, may never generate more than two dice, regardless of source. For example: An Empire army with an Archlector and a Warrior Priest would only generate +2DD, even though it would normally generate 3. The excess dice is lost and may not be used or stored.
b) If an army takes an item/ability with a "count as" clause, the limit for extra dice is affected. If, for instance the same Empire army brought a dispel scroll (counts as +1 DD because it auto dispels a spell). That same army would only ever generate +1 DD in each of the opponent's magic phases. The 2 excess dice would be lost. If both a dispell scroll and the seal of destruction were to be taken by that empire army, no additional DD would be generated (and all 3 DD from the Archlector/Warrior Priest would be lost).
c) Under no circumstances may an army have "count as" items that exceed +2PD/2DD. No negative modifiers may occur, you are simply not allowed to take any more items/abilities with a "count as" clause. For example: A VC army has Forbidden Lore on one vampire. This means that the VC army could not take a Power Scroll as this would generate +3PD in "count as" abilities. (+1 for Forbidden lore, which gives loremaster, and +2 for the power scroll). The army would be illegal.
d) Some very powerful items give penalties to both PD and Dispel dice, even though they do not directly affect Dispeling. The reason for this is that these items are so powerful that we feel that the drawbacks for taking them should be considerable. Taking a power scroll for instance, means: No Loremaster, no scroll, no additional dice generating in the army whatsoever.
3. The Army-specific restrictions are fairly light. The reason for this is that we want to see how things work out with minimal restrictions, and then tighten the screw if ever (whenever) the needs arise.
4. We want to reiterate that this is a first draft, and is intended to be a changing document. It is therefore acceptable -indeed encouragable- that people play around with these rules and restrictions. If event organizers feel that something needs changing (that one army is comped too harshly for instance), then change it for your tournament and -pretty please- report your findings back to us.
We are by no means perfect, therefore this draft isn't either. It never will be. But with your help, we believe that this can be turned into a solid, enjoyable ruleset.
With regards to our timetable for this project, we aim to release an updated draft on the first Monday in November, January and a final one March.
I'd like to take a moment to point out an up and coming podcast in development. Brohammer is being made by two locals, Erik and Kevin, who are great guys and have a great amount of experience in the hobby. Plus, they're a lot of fun and I think they'll do a good job. So go follow them at: http://brohammercast.blogspot.com/!
After the strong feelings that composition ideas generated here and elsewhere, I wanted to put a copy of the ETC restrictions up here. These guys play a lot (and for national pride), so I was very interested to see what they would do. The restrictions and changes are pretty heavy. I'll need some time to mull it over.
Scenario: The Battle of the Five (or more) Warhammer Armies
Players: Five (or more). Fluffwise, these consist of two or more forces of order armies, Skaven, Beastmen, Lizardmen, and Orcs. Feel free to swap out armies if convenient.
Points: 2,500 points outer (evil) army. 3,000 points per (center table) army. These points should adjust to provide some semblance of balance (at about a 10:6 ratio), although evil should always outnumber good.
Deployment: The center table defenders deploy anywhere on the center table. The outer table attackers deploy within 12” of their outer board edges.
First Turn: Defenders go first
Game Length: The Game will last for six turns, or until a time limit is reached.
Victory Conditions: Each player has secret conditions.
Scenario Special Rules: Lots! Coming Soon!
Bobo was scared. He’d stolen the Ring from the scary dragon, Flogg, just like the old Sorcerer Randalf had asked him to do, but ever since then, things had gone horribly wrong. Randalf and the Dwarfs that were supposed to protect him were drunk, Flog the Dragon was pissed, and Bobo’s pants were sopping wet down the front.
“No worries, Bobo”, grinned Randalf, “I’ve got this here horn, and I’ll blow on it to summon some allies to help us out. Pretty soon, we’ll be up to our arses in archers and eagles”.
Randalf whipped out his horn and went to blow. Unfortunately, his mouth was still filled with “pipeweed” smoke, and a hacking cough struck him just as he sounded the horn. The resulting note sounded something like a cross between a startled sheep and a wet fart.
Beastlord (or Beastlady, as she preferred) Gortia Gorson led her herd through the woods around Mount Boom carefully. No longer satisfied with petty loot and plunder, Gortia had become a militant anti-man zealot after a late night jam session with her Gor-crush Malagor at the Herd Stone last Boxing Day. She was on the lookout for any settlements to defile, loot, and hopefully poop on.
Randalf’s “note” sounded in the air. To all the Beastmen, it sounded like the world’s most awesome Bray-Horn. Gortia smiled and turned to address her herd.
“Let’s get moving, boys! There’s more Beasts ahead!
Randalf looked down at the horn and frowned. Whatever note he had blown, it hadn’t summoned much help. Bobo looked even more terrified, and several Dwarfs looked ready to sick up.
“Ah ha!”, exclaimed Randalf, “I’ve got the ticket! What I’ll do is jazz up the next note with a little Razzle Dazzle Magic ™.” He sniffed at the Winds of Magic. They seemed pretty ripe!
Glowing with power, Randalf blew into the horn. On the plus side, the horn blew a perfect, beautiful note. On the down side, Randalf exploded.
When the smoke cleared, Bobo and the Dwarfs found Randalf stunned on the ground. “Well”, groaned Randalf, “I sounded the horn with Irresistible Force. Unfortunately, that’s also a miscast in this edition”.
To the east, the Eagles and their Wood Elf friends heard Randalf’s call, and took to the air immediately to go to his aid. The majestically soared over the trees, true friends and allies to Randalf’s cause. Sadly, as they flew, the air around them grew hot and then exploded in a white hot burning ball of unnatural miscasted Strength Ten D6 Wound Ouchies. When the light cleared, only a few eagles remained, and the green fields and trees below had been replaced with a squalid swamp and unnatural temple. Lizardy eyes glared up at the eagles.
“What. The. Croak.”, snapped the High Slann Slippimus Prime. “I don’t know what jerk mage summoned us up on accident, but we’re going to follow those feather Pteradons up there and kick his butt”.
Meanwhile, up in “Da Hills”:
“Boss, we’ve been after these Stunties for days”, complained a Big’Un, “When are we gonna bash sum heads?”
General Bork gave his troops the stinkiest eye an Orc can give.
“Shut it up, you lot!” He chopped a nearby Gobbo in half in irritation. “We’ve almost caught ‘em. I can feel it. Plus, listen to dat racket down there near the mountain. We’ll smash ‘em up good, and Gork’ll be proud. Chargelzors!”
The woods were rustling, there was a new swamp to the east, the sounds of a Waaaagh could be heard from the hills, and most of the Eagles were BBQ. Even Randalf looked worried.
The only place left to look for help was to the west, in the small settlement of Durham nearby. Randalf tooted despondently on the horn again, hoping to summon some men, at least. Amazingly, he saw men approaching! Unfortunately, they looked like they were in bad shape.
One of them screamed, “We’ve been swarmed by rats!” and fainted dead away. Bobo peed in his pants a little more.
In Durham, Gray Seer Burns stroked his whiskers. “Exxxxcelent!”, he hissed.
The plan to take Durham had gone well, using only some cheese, a Pied Piper, and twelve cucumbers. His alliance with the Vampires was underway…for now…and no man-thing remained in the town. Burns could now launch his raid on Mount Boom, and steal all of its magical artifacts. Enough Slaves could take down a dragon, and no other inconveniences could stand in his way. Mounting his Bell, Burns screamed to the sky.
“Rat-ulators! Mount up!”
All around the Dwarfs, things were going badly. Nowhere seemed safe, and the Dragon was coming out from the mountain. They had some guns, and some knights, and quite a few peasants, but they were completely surrounded!
Bobo had to get out of here! His hand crept towards the Ring….
Posting has been a bit slow. I started a new job, which is taking more than the bulk of my time and attention at the moment. I also don't want to post stuff up just to be filler, so as things settle down I hope to create more "quality" content. We shall see.
The question I want to throw out to you, the gentle reader, is about basing. I've always painted my model first, and then based. While it was be a bit messy, with a bit of practice I avoid getting much of anything on the model itself. But I hear people swear by basing first. My fear is that I wouldn't get the model attached to the base properly with the basing material attached. So I hoped to get a little feedback here. What do you do, and what are the benefits? Can you assuage my fear or prebasing?
If there's one thing that I've forgotten to do in Eighth Edition consistently, it's to Stomp. There seems to be at least one rule per edition of Warhammer Fantasy that I always forget, and stomping seems to be it this edition. Considering it's kind of important, I'd like to remember. Back in Seventh Edition, I could never remember the building rules. Of course, we didn't play with many buildings, so that worked out. I'm not going to have that luxury with stomping.
In my game against Ian the other day, her forgot to Thunderstomp with two Varghulfs. It probably cost him a combat. We didn't realize that he forgot until it was far too late, and we were already packed up with a massacre recorded in my favor. It might have made a huge difference, and it might not, but it was a huge realization.
I'm trying to think of solutions to help myself remember. Perhaps I'll write a note in my lists, or paint the bases of my larger models in a bright color. Maybe I'll just write a reminder on a piece of paper...and staple it to my forehead. This should help until somehow I remember this tiny but important rule.
Does anyone else have any rules that just won't stick? If so, how did you deal with them. I'm not quite ready to head to the rest home.
One of the things I'm enjoying most about Eighth Edition is the complete rebalancing of armies that has occurred. Unless you're new to the game, you'll remember the lovely army power tiers from last edition. Some books were just miles better at using Seventh Edition rules, with Daemons at the very top all the way to Ogres and Orcs at the bottom of the heap.
Eighth Edition, I'm sure, has it's own tiers that will shake out eventually. Some army books, such as High Elves and Lizardmen, sure look scary out of the gate, and it's not like Dark Elves really got worse. For the most part, however, things seem more balanced overall. Part of this might be that the game is still in its infancy, and people are trying out a variety of lists, with all sorts of fun things making it to the table. No army really seems to be in terrible shape, however, as long as you ignore the internet hysterics and the theoreticians who don't actually play.
Last week, I got to play Brian with his Orcs and Goblins. I had my Dark Elves. In Seventh, Dark Elves would have been a top tier army, and Orcs on the bottom. The Druchii would have had a ton of advantages, at least on paper. In Eighth, Brian's Orcs were scary stuff! He had a variety of good, cheap Lords and Heroes, magic that worked out great for him, and tons and tons of Orc Boyz. He broke my big blocks of troops, fed me cheap garbage, and sniped my main mage out with a stone thrower. Yikes!
It ended up being a lot of fun, and reminded me that Eighth is a whole new ball game. So here's to Orcs, and all the other armies that suffered for years. Now they're the new hotness!
We're considering several comp. restrictions here for tournaments. Unlike 7th, the basic Eighth Edition has some issues at the moment. Seventh had problems, but they were in the army books. I would love to get some feedback from outside our local forums on this, so please go nuts in the comments section. Here are some basic ideas, cribbed liberally from Australia:
1. Remove the Power Scroll
2. No Special Characters
3. No single items that are greater than or equal to 100 points.
And then the ones with options:
1. MAGIC SPELLS
This seems to be generating the most discussion in other threads post Pilgrimage so I'll start here. It was also the single largest issue in the unbalancing of games. In the last edition, the restrictions/comp systems developed were an effort to balance armies out so that the best general, and not the extreme powered army, should win most games. What I saw on the weekend was that in about 10 out of 43 games EVERY round there were devastating big spells that removed generalship from the equation and annihilated characters and units from the table. the were games where the first one to roll a double 6 would win. of those 10, 5 would be over in the first few turns from such spells. In others, the superior general of a game would be on top, winning by a big margin, and all the opponent needed to do was roll a double six on a purple sun/ dwellers below, etc and characters and units would disappear and the game reversed to a big win to the lucky but poorer general of that match. We've all heard stories of this happening every now and then in the last edition, but in 8th its a regular occurrence. I think it will be too problematic to re-write some of these power spells so instead, in the name of balancing the game, they should be omitted. However, you might have a different idea, so below are your vote options.
A. Do NOT allow the most powerful spell from each deck/15+ spells
B. Modify these spells to tone them down but so they can still be used
C. Use these spells as they currently are
2. MAGIC POWER DICE
The GW FAQ ruled that the 12 power dice limit was the amount of dice that could be in the pool at any one time, but there was no limit on the number of dice that could be rolled in a magic phase of dice continued to be generated, such as from dark elf daggers/spells, death lore casualties, Slann extra dice, etc. At The Pilgrimage we set a 12 dice allowed to be rolled limit in both power and dispell dice and am glad we did, even without the power spells more than 12 dice would unbalance the game.
A. Use a 12 dice rolled limit per phase
B. Have no limit on the dice rolled per phase as per rule book
3. WAR MACHINES
War machines are a lot more effective than they used to be, they no longer require range guessing skill to use and there are no partials but some are much worse than others. 3-4 elven bolt throwers are no where as effective as 3-4 tooled up Empire/Dwarf war machines. We used a 5 war machine cap at The Pilgrimage with the steam Tank counting as one. Because of their effectiveness I believe they need to be pulled back a tad more, I would suggest 4 War machine models max.
A. Cap Warmachines to 4 max
B. Cap Warmachines to 5 max
C. Do not cap Warmachines
There are 6 Pitched Battles now, at The Pilgrimage we used Battle Line, Battle for the Pass and Meeting Engagement, twice each. This favoured armies with shooting and magic as in 2 of these scenarios you can have a very deep deployment where a combat army will have to trudge across a lot of table while getting shot at. If we had used all 6 scenarios these shooty armies would not have been able to compete in scenarios like Blood and Glory where the deployment is very compact and forces you to have many standards or The Watch Tower where you need to take a building to win the game. Using the 6 scenarios would have forced a more balanced army build.
A. Play All scenarios
B. Play selected scenarios (list which ones)
C. Play only Battleline
5. TRUE LINE OF SIGHT/TERRAIN
There was a lot of discussion on this pre-event, but during the event it seemed to have very little impact. There might be a story here or there of how a monster could not hide from a cannon and so on, but overall, people seemed happy with the way it works. The very few comments I heard from players related to their concern for abuse, where some people might have non GW models that get an advantage by being smaller. We could easily get around this by saying that all models are considered to be of the equivalent GW size and if there are any doubts the situation goes against the person not using the non GW size model.
A. Use TLOS as per rule book
B. Set heights for terrain (such as hills being infinitely high)
C. Set heights for models (such as models hiding equal or smaller size base models behind them)
D. Use both B & C
You ever have one of those games when the dice just refuse to like you? I had one the other day vs. one of our local players, Lance, and his Dwarfs. We didn't take pictures, but if you can imagine me as the bug in the picture above, I think that would make sense.
Lance and I both set up pretty evenly around the middle area of the table. Sadly, he went first, and splattered one of my two Hydras immediately (a feat he would do again in the second round, and to a chariot in the third). Meanwhile, my Crossbowmen fired over 200 shots into a unit of ten quarellers over four rounds of shooting, and killed four in total. In the end, the same quarellers helped run them down with the help of some Longbeards.
Meanwhile, some bad decisions and atrocious rolling tarpitted my 60 spears, general, and BSB on fourteen hammerers, where I netted about six wounds in five rounds. Yeesh!
In the end, Lance made good, conservative decisions, and I did not, so I suppose the dice were punishing my aggressive nature. The funny thing is that Lance is a fun opponent, and was relaxed, so that this was one of my most fun games of Eighth, even if I was being pummeled by fate.
One of the most interesting questions for me so far in Eighth Edition has been whether or not to use the horde formation. Bringing units ten wide and a million models deep sure sounds epic, but it's taken a while for me to come to grips with doing so in practice.
At first, hording units seemed to have little upside. Sure, an extra rank gets to attack, but in general, the cost of having enough troops for that to happen is way to high and is not cost effective. We can't all play Skaven or Goblins!
It's quickly become apparent to me, however, that the horde has better qualities that aren't apparent at first glance. Eighth Edition seems to really be about the concept of points denial. Preventing others from killing your units and then eeking out victories by holding onto your points while damaging the other army is what it's all about. This is due to the new concepts of units not giving up any points until all of their models are dead, combined with the new steadfast rule, which keeps big units from running away easily.
These concepts make hordes of troops (if not always in horde formation) golden. Sixty Dark Elf Spearmen (especially with a Cauldron Ward Save) is murder for other armies to chew through in cc. I wish I owned more. They die slowly, and refuse to give up a single point until every one of them is dead. Heck, they can be fleeing at the end of a game and not give up any points.
Personally, I've been enjoying taking a large unit of Dark Elf Crossbowmen tend wide, and then switching them to five wide if close combat threatens, in order to be steadfast. It's been pretty successful, and has earned me a few wins, along with the extra large block of spears, by husbanding my points carefully. I haven't quite mastered it, but am getting there slowly.
Now, if only there was an effective job for my poor Dark Riders!
Lately, I've been pondering a less competitive-minded outlook on Warhammer Fantasy. Maybe it's Eighth, or maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm starting to look at tournaments as more about just going and playing some Warhammer than about the struggle to win or lose. Not that I don't want to try, but it seems that right now the game may be a bit more about list making than it used to be, and I'm not sure I want to pack the super doom cheese list every time I go out. So I'm thinking about new things.
I got into things a long time ago to assemble cool models, do my best job painting them, and to play out the cool ideas in my head on an actual board. The Games Workshop folks really want to push their game as a casual, cup of tea drinking type game, and perhaps I should stop fighting them so hard in trying to find balance and such. Instead, I could work to enjoy the parts of the game that I got into the hobby for.
So I'll give it a try. I'll make some scenarios, try to build some terrain, and work at finding some fellow crazy folk to try out something new and fluffy. I'm not going to stop going to tournaments and such, and I sure as heck haven't lost my will to play hard and win, but maybe trying another tack will add some spice.
My local store got its Island of Blood in this past Tuesday, and promptly doled them out! I picked some copies up, and man is it nice! I plan on building a nice Skaven and High Elf foundation from some boxes, and passing the rest on to Ebay. I'll put up some links when the auctions are made.
Auctions are here: http://shop.ebay.com/btuite1/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686
The box set contains several things I really like. Having a small rulebook is a fantastic thing, considering the enormous size and weight of the hardcover version. More dice and templates are always welcome, as I'm always losing my scatter dice and templates at tournaments. Every one of the sculpts is fantastic and highly detailed, and could be a centerpiece to an army.
What do you do when you have two huge Space Marine armies, and still have models to paint and put together? A little bit of Blood Angels and Space Wolves will hopefully be coming down pipes from me to you in the next few months, as I stick to a decidedly Marine trend while trying out some new books and paint schemes.
This is my first Blood Angel model, and a decent test subject. You'll notice some differences from the official paint job. I wanted to differentiate a bit. I'm going to be painting up the Fourth Company, known as the "Knights of Baal". I'm going to use an emerald paint on the shoulder pad to fancy things up a bit, and the knee pad will show individual "heraldry" for each marine, rather than a squad marking.
I hand painted the Company and Chapter symbols on each shoulder pad rather than using transfers, which was a new challenge for me, and I think it turned out well. The sword blades have also been highlighted with mithril silver since I took the picture. I look forward to cranking out some of his battle brothers! Any suggestions for improvement or ideas on how to spice him up?
Like my Khador and Imperial Fists, who have all wrapped up in the last month or so, my Trollbloods are finished now with this fantastic model, who brings the entire collection up around 110 points. concept and pose of the Bomber, and wanted to add him in.
Unlike my Khador, my Trolls aren't going up for sale. For now, they'll sit in the cabinet while old projects (Dark Elves and Beastmen) get upgraded for Eighth Edition and new projects (Blood Angels, Space Wolves, High Elves and Skaven) get started. In the long run, I think this fella has a great gaming future...as a Hellcannon in a Warriors of Chaos Troll army.
One of our local players, Collins, has written a great tactica on the use of Eagles that I thought I'd share with all of you. It's a nice list of the tricks he employs with his (four!!) Eagles during games. Enjoy!
Trick #1, 'The Classic' War Machine Hunting
I thought that we may as well start off with a classic trick that I am sure everyone is familiar with. And that is warmachine hunting. Through my experience, most of all of my opponents warmachine crew have been s3 and ws2. That means that when you charge that warmachine with your eagle on turn two, which is almost inevitable, your opponents will be hitting you on 5s, and wounding you on 5s. Therefor, they only have 1/3 chance of doing a single wound to you. You, however, will be hitting on 3s, and wounding on 3s as well, so you should be getting 1.5555 wounds on your opponent (including your eagles stomp attack). That means you will be winning combat mostly every time. 1 from the charge, and 1-2 for wounds. From my experience, warmachines have low leadership, and will usually break even when beaten by 2-3 points.
A tip I would like to point out to everyone, is that your opponent will like sticking more than one warmachine together, usually on a hill. This means that if in your first turn, you move your eagle up on his flank and within charging distance of one warmachine, you can usually charge the closest one, beat it and run it down, while at the same time overrunning into his second warmachine, successfully taking out 100-200 points with your single 50 point eagle. Also, if you get this kind of charge off in your second turn, then you only are giving your opponents warmachines 1-2 turns to shoot, depending on who goes first.
Trick #2, 'Wizard Assassination'
Here is another classic that most of you must already know as well. Don't worry old experienced players, we'll get into some more complex tricks later, but this is for those of you who are relatively new and still need to learn the old tricks. Anyways, what you do here usually takes 2 or more eagles, but the pay off is well worth it. What you do is you charge in an eagle to the front of an opponents unit that is holding their oh-so-powerful-mage. Then, you direct all of the eagles attacks at your opponents mage. Because mages are generally fragile and do not have much protection, you should be getting 1.55555 wounds (stomp included). You're eagle will then surely be killed afterward. However, in your next turn you do the same thing, charge in with a second eagle. With two onslaughts of this, you should be averaging 3 wounds on their mage, and this is usually enough to kill it. And trust me, 100 points is well worth the points for your opponents mage, and stopping their magic relatively early in the game.
Trick #3, 'The Run-Down'
Now here is where things get interesting. This is the one trick that my opponents question/hate the most (other than Trick #5..). Let me set the scene for you:
[E] - Enemy Unit
[P] - Your PG Unit
[G] - Your Great Eagle
As you can see in this scenario, your two blocks of PG have just charged your opponents two enemy units. Your GE flies up to the right. You also notice the size and threat of the two enemy units that you just charged. You look at the larger enemy unit to the left. You realize that you have a good chance of tying/holding against that large unit with your PG, but you do not think you can beat it alone. You also look at your opponents smaller unit on the right. You think you can definitely beat that unit alone with your PG unit, but it may take two rounds of combat. Because you were smart and looked ahead, you moved your eagle to the right of the combats, and the reason why will become clear soon.
So the battle goes on. You turn out to be right, neither units go anywhere on your combat phase. Then it goes over to your opponents combat phase. Because you have numbers on the smaller enemy unit now, you break it and it flees. However, you decide not to chase after it with your PG unit. You instead reform looking to get a flank charge against your opponents larger unit, and you let the smaller unit get away, because you know that you need the help in the other combat.
So it is the beginning of you're turn now, and the scene looks like this:
So what do you do? You declare two charges. The first is your PG unit into the flank of the large enemy unit. The second, however, is your GE into their fleeing small enemy unit. You know that if that enemy unit rallies, you will have then gotten no points for it because of the new rules, so you chase it down with your eagle. You charge with your eagle and get the average of 19" charge range. Because they were only approximately 7" away from your eagle, there is close to no way they can flee far enough (and they have to flee, as they were already doing so) from your eagle, so once again that little 50 point model has made up for its points three fold or more, and allowed you to turn the tables on the other larger enemy unit.
Trick #3.2, 'Chasing Away', special thanks to Ptolemy
Here is another similar thing you can do, that helps you clear those smaller units on the board and gain you a few extra points in the game. When you charge a unit, and you know that they are going to flee, then you can charge them once again with an eagle. That way, they are forced to flee once again, either to be caught by your eagle, or run off the board. If neither of those things happen, then it is well worth moving that unit another 2d6" away from the action. Remember, your eagle only has to be within 22" of that unit to be able to declare the charge.
Trick #4, 'The Speed Bump'
This is a simple trick, but I find that it works rather well in slowing your opponents down to give you more time to shoot/magic their big combat units to give you a combat edge when they get to you. Pretty much all you are doing is flying your eagle up to their big units, then angling the eagle so that if the eagle is charged next turn, the big combat unit will overrun in a direction they do not want to go, or they can not charge and reform to get out of the way of your eagle, which you will then just move back and do it again, or they can charge, kill your eagle, and then not overrun, and move a total of one inch in their turn, instead of their typical 8-10" advancement on your line.
Trick #4.2, 'The Double Block', special thanks to geoguswrek!
This is very similar to 'The Speed Bump', however you would use it when it is not guaranteed that you're eagle would hold, ie. your opponent causes Terror. In this trick, you put two eagles blocking your opponents unit, and when he declares a charge against the first, you flee, but then he can only redirect into your other eagle. You flee a second time with the other eagle, and because each unit can only redirect one time in each turn (see page 18), your opponent is then forced to go after the second eagle. If you set it up right, this can lead your opponent into a bad position, sometimes setting you up for a flank charge.
Trick #5, 'The Place Holder'
This may just be my favorite trick of all to use in a game, because it catches your opponent off guard, and can help you get out of very tricky situations. Some of you may already know this trick from reading my past BatReps, and if so, kudos to you for reading my BatReps! Anyways, here is a situation where this trick could be applied:
As you can see, your opponent has put a weak unit right in front of your PG unit, in hopes that you will charge it, beat it, and run it down. If you did this, then you would run into his second smaller unit. However, in doing so, you will have fallen into his trap, as he will then be able to flank you with his larger, more formidable unit. So what do you do? You declare two charges. Your eagle is conveniently placed on your right flank, so you charge the small unit right in front of your PG with your PG, then you charge the small unit behind that with the eagle. In doing so, you then proceed to beat that unit and chase it down with your PG, running into the small unit behind it. However, because you flanked that unit with your Eagle, you can then fight another round of combat in the same combat! You then can beat and run down that second unit with your PG, and in doing so get out of harms way from the flank charge.
Trick #6, 'Placement Stalling', special thanks to wamphyri101!
I believe that the placement of units at the beginning of the game is the one largest thing that will make or break the result of any game. Great Eagles, believe it or not, can give you quite the edge with this, and here is how. The very first thing you place down at the beginning of the game is your eagles. The more eagles you have, the more units your opponent will have to place down for you to see before you start putting down actual units. This way, you can 'pick your fights', so to speak, and place your units the way you want them in relation to your opponents units. I typically try to put my GEs on the flanks to begin with, because with their 20" movement they can get were they are needed relatively easily.
Trick #7, 'Combat Res Generator', special thanks to Xarhain!
One more basic tactic is the combat res generator. Often you'll have flown behind enemy lines to attack a war machine or attempt any number of the tricks listed above, but for some reason the eagle is no longer required. Maybe the cannon blew itself up or the unit you were stalling got purple sunned. Either way, you now have a free eagle you can charge into the back of a stalling combat. With the new lack of unit strength you get +1CR for charging and +2CR for the rear charge. You'll do a wound against standard infantry and maybe take one back. Instant +3CR, and a speedy unit involved in the combat to chase them down once they break!
I guess what I'm really trying to tell everybody is this: think ahead! If you can think ahead a couple of turns, you can set up these neat tricks, and avoid tricks that your opponent tries to set up against you. A lot of this comes from me being an avid chess player, because in chess it is all about thinking ahead. I use the same skills in warhammer, and so far I am doing pretty well.
Commentary is welcome and appreciated.
Since some of the diagrams might come out funny on this site, here is a link to the original: http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=33028&start=0
I remade my Fantasy Excel template to really help with new Eighth Edition list making, and added some new features. Both the 40K and Fantasy Template are set up so that you can enter the names of your units, their base cost, their upgrades, and their upgrade costs. Each units total cost is then calculated on the side, and the total army base cost, total army upgrade cost, and total army cost are calculated at the bottom.
In addition, the fantasy template now has cells where it will tell you the amount each part of your army takes up (Core, Lords, etc.) and what percent of your total army each part is taking up. I find this to be very helpful simply because it does those calculations very quickly and reminds me if there is a problem in case I forget.
An Australian gentlemen won my Khador army off Ebay. As it's my first army that I've ever sold off, I was a little sad packing Vlad and friends up (tightly, in lots of bubble wrap) and boxing them off for a tip across the world. That being said, it's kind of cool that they're going to be traveling so far. I hope they get some great use down there.
If you've read my previous what not about Beastmen in Eighth Edition, you'll probably note that I have a pretty low opinion of the average internet forum doomsayer. Beasts seem to work great in Eighth, and yet every knuckledragger with a dial-up connection has decided they are a bottom tier army.
Likewise, the Wood Elves are decried as a totally useless army by the masses. The old style Wood Elf army of multiple small skirmishers dancing around the table and hiding behind terrain is gone for good. It won't do enough damage, and it won't be able to break large units. Because this style of army doesn't work, the argument goes, Wood Elves are now the worst of the worst.
The problem with this example, like how people view Beastmen, is a anti-Darwinesque inability to adapt to the new rules and strategies that come with a new edition of the game (combined with the self-confidence that it takes to declare someone else's army terrible without letting Eighth breathe for a few months). The haters are correct: the MSU Wood Elf army is not in good shape. Luckily, that style of play isn't all that the Wood Elves had to offer, and I think they'll be just fine.
The other day, my opponent Brad brought two Treemen, an Alter Lord, an Alter Noble, a big units of Dryads, a Level Four Sorceress with Lore of Beasts, and lots and lots of bows. Those suckers were lined up to fire at me until I made pee pants all over the forest. I had my Lore of Death Beastmen and was feeling good.
Brad's army didn't conform to the old MSU way. There were big ranks of bowmen. The dryad unit was big and punchy. There was a Level Four Mage, and she didn't know treesinging! Instead, Brad used some new strengths. He used his shooting to whittle down the troops that he could shoot, and ignored the ones that he couldn't. He tag teamed down my Ghorgon with his two Alters, using their superior speed and movement (and they were equipped, tellingly, with items from the new Common Magic Item list). He used his treemen to threaten my flanks and then charge in when the opportunity presented itself, smashing enough rank and file to scare off my Gors (and my General). He held back where he needed to, and pushed where he needed to until my army fell under the pressure.
There are a lot of neat things in the Wood Elf book that didn't make an appearance yesterday, like Treekin or access to the Lore of Life. However, Brad did something that I think more entrenched players might have a bit more trouble with: he played differently in order to fit in with the new edition. Conventional wisdom has Wood Elves trying to "fit in" poorly with the new rules by taking big blocks of expensive ranked infantry, or just struggling miserably against the big blocks of Eighth. Instead, Brad used different strengths of his book, and hit me hard.
Eighth hasn't really sunk in yet, and we don't know who the winners and the losers among the army books really are just yet. All I know is that I'm not willing to count anyone out yet.
What would Imperial Fist be, if it was a flavor? Something sour, I think, and probably smokey.
Anyway, I know that there's always going to be a great debate out there as to Space Marine special characters and whether or not you should use them in armies that are not their own Chapter. While I love the 40K fluff, I'm perfectly willing to blur the special character line a bit. Vulcan in the Ultramarines is a little tricky, but I figure ol' Pedro here is a Imperial Fist successor, and fits their shooty playstyle. I'm also going to get around to painting a Telion for my Raven Guard sometime, since they are the super scout chapter and he's the super scout guy. And Chronus...if he ever gets into my army, it's going to be as an Iron Hand.
Pedro actually marks a big day for me, however. He's my last Imperial Fist Space Marine. The army, which pushes around 2,500 points, is finished up, and will now sit in the cabinet between friendlies and tournaments. Now that my Raven Guard and Imperial Fists are finished, it's time to head for Wolf and Angel country.
With Warhammer Ocho only recently having reared its head, a lot of people online and locally have been discussing how the "tiers" or power rankings for the armies might change. I was surprised to see that Beastmen were still ranked at the very bottom by many forum goers, and strongly disagree.
Beasts were not a great seventh edition army. Their magic was too difficult to cast for the small values you got from it, the army was too fragile, and low leadership / lack of fear causing was a huge problem to deal with. Eighth has treated them well, however.
First, the percentage system has allowed Beasts to take more than one Lord choice. Instead of choosing between higher leadership (The Beastlord), powerful killing (Doombull) and magic (Great Bray-Shaman), the Beasts can now double up to get real options. I personally am liking the Beastlord / GBS combination, so that I can have a reliable leadership 9 along with my magic.
Second, the new BSB rules allow us to reroll Primal Fury. With the aforementioned Ld 9 and the reroll, getting Primal Fury off is almost a given, and rerolling to hit is even better in Eighth, with prolonged combats abounding. Largish units of Gors do pretty well even against tougher opponents when they're getting a large percentage of hits.
Finally, the new magic system is great for Beasts. We have access to two of the nastier lores (Shadow and Death), and even Lore of the Wild is viable now with its relatively lower costs. My Level 4 and Level 2 casters have done some serious damage in the last few games, both by spitting out damage and debuffing enemy units. We have some great magic items as well, which now make a lot of sense in the new system.
Beasts absolutely have some issues. Almost everything in the book is a bit overcosted, and while we're tough, there's a severe lack of armor throughout the army. I can see an issue versus some armies and opponents still, but the outlook is much brighter than it was.
So where does that leave me? Five games into Eighth edition, my Beasts are 5-0. I've played against Lizardmen, Orcs and Goblins, Tomb Kings, High Elves, and Daemons. In each of them, I've watched Gors hold their own, Minotaurs eat their fill, and even the Ungors beat some heads in.
What's been most pleasant for me is the fun to be had in the magic phase. Many of you know that I disdained magic for all of 7th Edition, as it was too much investment for too much risk. In the last few games, it's instead been a great, but not overpowering, part of the game as a whole. I've used it mostly to complement other parts of the game, bringing everything together into one killy symphony.
My game against Bart's Daemons the other night is a good example. The much dreaded Purple Sun spell from Death only went off once the whole game, and then only killed two Bloodletters. However, selective other spells made Bart's units weaker, and allowed regular Gors to break them more easily. In my game against Collins the other day, to contrast, sniping his all important characters out of their units with Death and bound spells made all the difference. Against good opponents like these two, magic didn't run wild and rule the game, but it allowed me to pressure different aspects of their armies to my advantage, employing different tactics depending on my opponent.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on Beasts and Eighth so far. It's been a blast, and I look forward to getting more games in soon.